Chesterton Tribune

 
 

Jobless rate edges down statewide, plummets in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in September, down marginally from 8.3 percent in August, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said in a statement released today.

This marks the first decline in the rate since April.

“Indiana also recorded its first increase in the labor force in seven months, signaling (that) more Hoosiers may be encouraged by strong job growth throughout the year and are again looking for work,” DWD said.

While Indiana’s rate of unemployment decreased in September, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Hoosier state shed 6,000 private sector jobs, the first monthly decline in nearly a year, DWD noted. “Despite September losses, private sector jobs in Indiana have grown by more than 43,000 in 2012 and continue to outpace the national rate of growth for the year (1.8 percent versus 1.2 percent).”

“I find it particularly encouraging that Hoosiers are returning to the labor force,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Indiana also continues to outpace the nation in rate of private sector job growth and state continued unemployment insurance claims are at their lowest level since 2000.”

Employment sectors in Indiana which continue to exceed the national rate of growth in 2012 include manufacturing (2.8 percent versus 1.1 percent); private educational and health services (2.3 percent versus 1.6 percent); construction (4.0 percent versus -0.4 percent); and leisure and hospitality (2.2 percent versus 1.5 percent).

Sectors showing gains in September: trade, transportation and utilities (+900); financial activities (+300); and construction (+200).

Sectors showing losses in September: professional and business services (-3,300); private educational and health services (-2,600); manufacturing (-1,400), and leisure and hospitality (-200).

Total non-farm employment decreased in September (-2,600).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the unemployment rate in September dropped by more than half a point, to 6.9 percent from 7.6 percent in August (7.8 percent in September 2011). Throughout the county, 5,603 people were looking for work, a decrease of 9.8 percent from August (a decrease of 13.8 percent since September 2011).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in September also fell by more than half a point, to 8.6 percent from 9.3 percent in August (9.8 percent in September 2011). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in September plummeted by nearly a full point, to 8.8 percent from 9.7 percent in August (10.1 percent in September 2011).

In Chesterton—which continues to post the lowest jobless rate in Northwest Indiana—the unemployment rate in September similarly fell by more than half a point, to 7.6 percent from 8.2 percent (7.0 percent in September 2011). A total of 379 people was looking for work, a decrease of 10.4 percent from August (a decrease of 17.6 percent since September 2011).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in September fell by fully a whole point, to 6.8 percent from 7.7 percent in August (7.3 percent in September 2011). A total of 1.056 people was looking for work, a decrease of 12. 5 percent from August (a decrease of 10.3 percent since September 2011).

In Portage the unemployment rate in September fell by more than half a point, to 8.6 percent from 9.4 percent in August (9.5 percent in September 2011). A total of 1,531 people was looking for work, a decrease of 8.3 percent from August (a decrease of 11.2 percent since September 2011).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in September:

•In Gary the rate fell by more than half a point, to 12.8 percent from 13.6 percent in August (15.8 percent in September 2011).

•In East Chicago the rate also fell dramatically, to 12.5 percent from 13.3 percent (13.4 percent in September 2011).

•In Hammond the rate dropped to 8.9 percent from 9.6 percent in August (10.4 percent in September 2011).

•In Michigan City the rate fell by more than a whole point, to 10.5 percent from 11.6 percent in August (11.6 percent in September 2011).

•In LaPorte the rate dropped to 8.9 percent from 9.7 percent in August (10.1 percent in September 2011).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in September fell to 7.8 percent, from 8.1 percent in August (8.8 percent in September 2011).

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 tally, the unofficial unemployment rate in August was 14.7 percent, flat, the same as in August. (15.7 percent in September 2011).

“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 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 10/19/2012