Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rates down statewide and here

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate dropped further below the national rate in March, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said on Friday.

At 5.9 percent, the rate of unemployment in Indiana is now at its lowest point since July 2008 and has declined by 2 percent over the year, the third largest decline in the nation.

Meanwhile, Indiana’s labor force increased again in March, marking the sixth straight month of labor force increases. The Hoosier labor force has grown by more than 25,000 in the first quarter of 2014.

Indiana added 3,200 private sector jobs last month and ranks eighth in the nation in total private sector job growth since July 2009, the low point of employment in the state. During that time, Indiana has grown 215,500 private sector jobs, while over the past year the state’s manufacturing job growth of 12,700 has led the nation, “solidifying its position as the state with the largest percentage of manufacturing jobs as a portion of the private sector in the country,” DWD said.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate is now below 6 percent for the first time since July of 2008,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “Our rate has dropped by two percentage points in one year, which is the third largest decline in the nation. The Hoosier labor force has grown by more than 25,000 in the first quarter of 2014 alone, which is also remarkable.”

Sanders noted as well that claims for state unemployment insurance in March were nearly 10,000 below March 2013 levels and are at their lowest since 2007 and that initial claims for unemployment insurance are at their lowest levels since 2000.

Sectors showing gains in March include leisure and hospitality (+3,300); construction (+700); private educational and health services (+500); manufacturing (+300): and professional and business services (+300).

Sectors showing decline in March include trade, transportation, and utilities (-2,700); and financial activities (-600).

Total non-farm employment increased in March (4,600).

Regionally, Locally

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in March fell by more than half a point, to 6.9 percent from 7.6 percent in February (7.8 percent in March 2013). Throughout Porter County 5,759 people were looking for work in March, a decrease of 8.5 percent from February (a decrease of 10.8 percent since March 2013).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in March dropped to 8.4 percent, from 9.1 percent in February (9.8 percent in March 2013). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in March fell to 8.6 percent, from 9.4 percent in February (10.6 percent in March 2013).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in March slipped by more than half a point, to 6.2 percent from 6.9 percent in February (7.1 percent in March 2013). A total of 424 people was looking for work in Mach, a decrease of 10.7 percent from February (a decrease of 11.7 percent since March 2013).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in March remained steady at 6.3 percent, the same as in February (7.4 percent in March 2013). A total of 1,0006 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 0.5 percent from February (a decrease of 14.1 percent since March 2013).

In Portage the unemployment rate in March also fell by more than half a point, to 8.2 percent from 8.9 percent in February (8.7 percent in March 2013) a total of 1,473 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 7.5 percent since February (a decrease of 3.9 percent since March 2013).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in March:

* In Gary the unemployment rate dropped to 10.5 percent, from 11.1 percent in February (13.2 percent in March 2013).

* In East Chicago the unemployment rate fell to 10.5 percent, from 11.1 in February (12.0 percent in March 2013).

* In Hammond the unemployment rate slipped to 8.5 percent, from 9.0 percent in February (10.5 percent in March 2013).

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

Alternate Measures

The official national unemployment rate in March was steady at 6.7 percent, the same as in February (7.6 percent in March 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 March was 12.7 percent, up from 12.6 percent in February (13.9 percent in March 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 4/21/2014