Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Statewide jobless rate stable last month but unemployment plummets in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s unemployment rate in September was 3.5 percent, the same as in August, and remains lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent,” the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reporting.

With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana's unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for nearly five years. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force.

“Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 4,564 over the previous month. This was a result of a 337 decrease in unemployed residents and an increase of 4,901 employed residents. Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

In addition, the number of Indiana's ongoing regular unemployment insurance claims is the lowest since 1976, when unemployment insurance claims were first recorded.

Private sector employment has grown by more than 26,400 over the year and has increased by 2,500 over the previous month, primarily due to gains in the trade, transportation and utilities (+2,400); and other (1,700), which includes mining and logging, IT and other services sectors.

Gains were partially offset by losses in manufacturing (-1,300); and private educational and health services (-1,000) sectors.

Total private employment stands at 2,710,900 and is 22,000 above the December 2017 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, jobless rates in September plummeted.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in September dropped by more than half a point, to 3.4 percent from 4.1 percent in August (3.7 percent in September 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in September also fell by more than half a point, to 4.5 percent from 5.1 percent in August (4.9 percent in September 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in September similarly dropped by more than half a point, to 3.8 percent from 4.5 percent (3.9 percent in September 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in September fell by more than a full point, to 3.0 percent from 4.1 percent in August (3.7 percent in September 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in September dropped by half a point, to 3.3 percent from 3.8 percent in August (3.5 percent in September 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in September fell by more than half a point, to 3.8 percent from 4.5 percent in August (4.5 percent in September 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in September:

* In Gary the rate fell by more than half a point, to 7.1 percent from 7.9 percent in August (7.6 percent in September 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate fell by exactly one full point, to 5.9 percent from 6.9 percent in August (6.8 percent in September 2017).

* In Hammond the rate fell by nearly a full point, to 4.4 percent from 5. 2 percent in August (5.5 percent in September 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate fell by one full point, to 3.9 percent from 4.9 percent in August (4.5 percent in September 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate also fell by one full point, to 3.9 percent from 4.9 percent in August (4.5 percent in September 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in September was 3.7 percent, down from 3.9 percent in August (4.1 percent in September 2017).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginally attached workers,” and “total part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, then the unofficial national unemployment rate in September was 7.5 percent, up from 7. 4 percent in August (8.0 percent in September 2017).

Marginally attached workers are those who indicate “that they want to job, have looked for work in the last 12 months (or since the last time they worked if they worked in the last 12 months), and are available for work.”

Discouraged workers are not currently looking for work for several reasons, including their belief that no job is available to them in their line or in their area.

Persons employed part-time for economic reasons are those “who want and are available for full-time work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

 

Posted 10/23/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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