Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate dips in February statewide but rises here in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate in February fell to 6.1 percent, from 6.4 percent in January, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported on Friday.

“The number of unemployed Hoosiers is less than 200,000 for the first time since August of 2008,” DWS said. “The unemployment rate has been on a downward slide so far in 2014 while the labor force has expanded by nearly 14,000. Indiana's rate is now more than one-half of a percentage point below the national rate for the first time in a decade.”

In addition, Indiana added 5,400 private-sector jobs in February and has grown more than 214,000 private-sector jobs since July 2009, the low point of employment in the state.

“Indiana has had a strong start to 2014 despite the harsh winter,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Our unemployment rate is now the lowest it has been since August of 2008 and our labor force has expanded by nearly 14,000 in two months.”

Sanders noted that initial claims for unemployment insurance in February were nearly 5,000 below February 2013 levels and are at their lowest levels in nearly 15 years.

Sectors showing gains in February include leisure and hospitality (+2,200); construction (+2,000); trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,400); and manufacturing (+800).

Sectors showing declines in February include private educational and health services (-800); professional and business services (-600); and financial activities (-300).

Total non-farm employment increased in February (+9,100).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in February increased by nearly half a point, to 7.5 percent from 7.1 percent in January (9.0 percent in February 2013). Throughout Porter County 6,286 people were looking for work in February, an increase of 7.5 percent over January (a decrease of 14.6 percent since February 2013).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in February rose to 9.0 percent, from 8.7 percent in January (11.1 percent in February 2013). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in February likewise rose, to 9.4 percent from 9.0 percent in January (11.9 percent in February 2013).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in February inched up, to 6.9 percent from 6.7 percent in January (8.4 percent in February 2013). A total of 475 people was looking for work in February, an increase of 4.2 percent over January (a decrease of 15.6 percent since February 2013).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in February spiked by fully half a point, to 6.3 percent from 5.8 percent (8.2 percent in February 2013). A total of 1,009 people was looking for work in February, an increase of 9.4 percent over January (a decrease of 21.7 percent since February 2013).

In Portage the unemployment rate in February also rose by half a point, to 8.9 percent from 8.4 percent (10.1 percent in February 2013). A total of 1,595 people was looking for work in February, an increase of 7 percent over January (a decrease of 10.5 percent since February 2013).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in February:

* In Gary the unemployment rate increased by nearly half a point, to 11.1 percent from 10.7 percent in January (14.5 percent in February 2013).

* In East Chicago the unemployment rate rose marginally to 11.1 percent from 11.0 percent in January (14.1 percent in February 2013).

* In Hammond the unemployment rate slid up to 9.0, from 8.6 percent in January (11.5 percent in February 2013).

* DWD data for Michigan City and LaPorte appear to be corrupt.

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in February was 6.7 percent, down from 6.6 percent in January (8.1 percent in February 2013).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginally attached workers,” and “total employed part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, the unofficial unemployment rate in February was 12.6 percent, down from 12.7 percent in January (14.9 percent in February 2013).

“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 work but have had to settle for a part-time schedule.”

 

Posted 3/31/2014