Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rates continue to drop statewide, in region and here

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 percent in April, from 5.9 percent in March, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development said in a statement released today.

April marked the ninth consecutive month of decreases in the unemployment rate in the Hoosier State, DWD said. Indiana’s unemployment rate has decreased by 2.1 percent over the past year and has remained below the national rate for the past four months.

The Hoosier state also added 4,400 private sector jobs in April, DWD said. Since July 2009, the low point of employment in the state, Indiana has added a total of 220,300 private sector jobs, one-third of which have come from the manufacturing sector alone (+75,200).

Indiana’s labor force increased by 11,700 in April, marking the seventh straight month of labor force growth, DWD also said. In addition, Indiana’s labor force participation rate exceeded the national rate in April for the first time since July 2009.

“April’s job numbers maintained the positive economic trend for 2014 in the Hoosier State,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to drop because more Hoosiers are going back to work as our labor force continues to grow, which is not the case with some of our neighboring states or the national trend as a whole.”

Sanders noted as well that claims for state unemployment insurance in April were nearly 10,000 below April 2013 levels. Initial claims and continued claims are now at levels not seen since 2000.

Sectors showing gains in April include trade, transportation and utilities (+2,000); financial activities (+900); private educational and health services (+800); construction (+600); manufacturing (+500); and leisure and hospitality (+100).

A sector showing a decline in April was professional and business services (-400).

Total non-farm employment increased in April (+4,200).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in April dropped by nearly a full point, to 6.1 from 6.9 percent in March (7.1 percent in April 2013). Throughout Porter County 5,141 people were looking for work in April, a decrease of 10.6 percent from March (a decrease of 12.4 percent since April 2013).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in April fell to 7.6 percent, from 8.4 percent in March (9.0 percent in April 2013). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in April plummeted by more than a full point, to 7.3 percent from 8.6 percent in March (9.5 percent in April 2013).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in April dropped by more than half a point, to 5.6 percent from 6.2 percent in March (6.5 percent in April 2013). A total of 387 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 8.5 percent from March (a decrease of 12.8 percent since April 2013).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in April dropped by more than a full point, to 5.2 percent from 6.3 percent in March (6.5 percent in April 2013). A total of 837 people was looking for work in April a decrease of 16.6 percent from March (a decrease of 19.4 percent since April 2013).

In Portage the unemployment rate in April slipped to 7.8 percent, from 8.2 percent in March (8.3 percent in April 2013). A total of 1,418 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 3.5 percent from March (a decrease of 4.5 percent since April 2013).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in April:

* In Gary the rate was stable at 10.5 percent, the same as in March (13.3 percent in April 2013).

* In East Chicago the rate actually increased, to 10.8 percent from 10.5 percent (11.2 percent in April 2013).

* In Hammond the rate dropped by more than half a point, to 7.8 percent from 8.5 percent (9.6 percent in April 2013).

* In Michigan City the rate fell by nearly a full point, to 10.9 percent from 11.8 percent (10.7 percent in April 2013).

* DWD data for LaPorte continue to appear to be corrupt.

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in April was 6.3 percent, down from 6.7 percent in March (7.1 percent in April 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 April was 12.3 percent, down from 12.7 percent in March (13.4 percent in April 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 5/16/2014