Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Unemployment up statewide as well as regionally and locally

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s unemployment rate rose fractionally in August, to 3.5 percent from 3.4 percent in July (3.6 percent in August 2017), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) reported last week.

The 3.5 percent rate remains lower than the national rate of 3.9 percent, and with the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014) the state’s jobless rate has now been lower than the U.S. rate for more than four years, DWD said.

The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicator which 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 11,085 over the previous month, DWD said. This was a result of a 2,594 increase in unemployed residents and an increase of 8,481 employed residents. The state’s total labor force, which includes both employed and unemployed Hoosiers, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 65-percent labor force participation rates remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent.

“In addition, Indiana’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows,” DWD said.

Private sector employment has grown by more than 27,600 over the first eight months of 2018 and has increased by 3,500 over July, due chiefly to gains in the financial activities sector (+2,300) and in construction (+1,600).

Those gains were partially offset by losses in manufacturing (-2,000) and in the Other sector, which includes mining and logging, IT, and other services (-1,600). Total private employment stands at 2,706,600 and is 17,700 above the December 2017 peak.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana jobless rates last month tracked the statewide rate and rose as well.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in August increased to 4.1 percent, from 3.9 percent in July (4.4 percent in August 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in August rose to 5.1 percent, from 4.9 percent in July (5.5 percent in August 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in August also rose, to 4.4 percent from 4.2 percent in July (4.6 percent in August 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in August increased to 4.1 percent, from 3.9 percent in July (4.2 percent in August 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in August increased to 3.8 percent, from 3.6 percent in July (4.2 percent in August 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in August increased to 4.5 percent, from 4.3 percent in July (5.2 percent in August 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in August:

* In Gary the rate rose by fully half a point, to 7.8 percent from 7.3 percent in July (8.3 percent in August 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate increased by nearly half a point, to 6.9 percent from 6.5 percent in July (7.3 percent in August 2017).

* In Hammond the rate was stable at 5.2 percent, the same as in July (6.0 percent in August 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate rose to 4.9 percent, from 4.8 percent in July (5.2 percent in August 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate increased by half a point, to 4.4 percent from 3.9 percent in July (4.9 percent in August 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in August was stable at 3.9 percent, the same as in July (4.5 percent in August 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 August was 7.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent in July (8.6 percent in August 2017).

Marginally attached workers are those who indicate “that they want a 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 9/25/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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