Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate stable at 3.5 percent in the state, mixed bag in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate remained stable in February at 3.5 percent, the same as in January (3.3 percent in February 2018), the Indiana Department of Workforce Environment (DWD) 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 more than 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 in February of 7,997 over the previous month. This was a result of an increase of 1,755 unemployed residents and an increase of 6,242 employed residents.

Indiana's total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.40 million, and the state’s 65.2 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.2 percent, DWD said.

Private sector employment has grown by 40,400 over the year and 4,400 over January. The monthly increase is primarily due to gains in trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,300); and the professional and business services (+2,500).

Gains were partially offset by losses in construction (-2,100); and financial Activities (-900).

Total private employment reached a preliminary record highpoint of 2,747,600, which is 15,500 above the December 2018 peak.

Regionally and Locally

In Northwest Indiana, on the other hand, the jobless rate in February was a mixed bag.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in February was stable at 4.6 percent, the same as in January (4.5 percent in February 2018).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in February was also stable at 5.8 percent, the same as in January (5.6 percent in February 2018). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in February rose to 5.9 percent, from 5.6 percent in January (5.2 in February 2018).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in February fell to 4.1 percent, from 4.4 percent in January (4.1 percent in February 2018).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in February fell marginally, to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent in January (3.8 percent in February 2018).

In Portage the unemployment rate in February dropped to 5.2 percent, from 5.4 percent in January (5.2 percent in February 2018).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in February:

--In Gary the rate fell to 7.0 percent, from 7.2 percent in January (7.3 percent in February 2018).

--In East Chicago the rate fell by wholly half a point, to 7.7 percent from 8.2 percent in January (7.7 percent in February 2018).

--In Hammond the rate rose marginally, to 6.3 percent from 6.2 percent in January (5.8 percent in February 2018).

--In Michigan City the rate rose to 5.9 percent, from 5.7 percent in January (5.3 percent in February 2018).

--In LaPorte the rate rose by more than half a point, to 6.1 percent from 5.5 percent in January (5.0 percent in February 2018).

Alternative Rate

The official national unemployment rate in February was 3.8 percent, down from 4.0 percent in January (4.4 percent in February 2018).

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 unemployment rate in January was 7.3 percent, down more than half a point from 8.1 percent in January (8.6 percent in February 2018).

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 3/25/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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