Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rates improved last month in Northwest Indiana

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percent to 8.5 percent in April, the largest one month decrease in over a year, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said today.

Private sector employment in the Hoosier state also increased by 6,800 jobs over the past month and exceeded the national rate of growth. Indiana has now experienced private sector employment growth in 37 of the past 40 months.

April also recorded the biggest drop in the total number of unemployed in over a year. Some 7,800 fewer Hoosiers were reported unemployed in April than in March. Weekly claims for unemployment insurance also decreased by more than 14 percent over the past month and initial claims continue to remain below 2005 levels.

"Aprils employment picture is cause for cautious optimism," DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. "There is quite a bit more work to do, but things seem to be moving in the right direction, as evidenced by the largest drop in the unemployment rate in over a year."

More: while the number of manufacturing jobs declined in April, manufacturing hours, which climbed to 42.4, have either remained consistent or increased for the fifth consecutive month and have been above the national average for the past four months. "The sustained increase in hours for Indiana's manufacturing production workers combined with sizable increases in temporary manufacturing worker hires point to tangible growth potential in the sector," DWD said.

Sectors showing gains in April included trade, transportation and utilities (+4,600); professional and business services (+3,800); and private educational and health services (=3,300).

Sectors showing declines in April included construction (-2,600); and manufacturing (-2,500).

Total non-farm employment increased in April (4,400).

Regionally, Locally

If the states jobless rate dropped by 0.2 percent in April, here in Northwest Indiana the seasonally unadjusted rates were falling precipitously.

In Porter County the unemployment rate in April fell by a full point, to 7.7 percent from 8.7 percent in March (7.3 percent in April 2012). Throughout the county 6,278 people were looking for work in April, a a decrease of 11.4 percent from March (an increase of 4.5 percent since April 2012).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in April dropped by more than a full point, to 9.7 percent from 10.8 percent in March (9.0 percent in April 2012). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in April fell by nearly a point and a half, to 10.2 percent from 11.6 percent in March (9.6 percent in April 2012).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in April dropped by nearly a full point, to 6.9 percent from 7.8 percent in March (6.5 percent in April 2012). A total of 467 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 10.7 percent from March (an increase of 6.4 percent since April 2012).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in April fell by more than a full point, to 7.0 percent from 8.2 percent in March (6.9 percent in April 2012). A total of 1,112 people was looking for work in April, a decrease of 13.5 percent from March (an increase of 1.3 percent since April 2012).

In Portage the unemployment rate in April dropped by more than half a point, to 9.0 percent from 9.6 percent in March (9.2 percent in April 2012). A total of 1,595 people was looking for work in April a decrease of 5.5 percent from March (a decrease of 3.0 percent since April 2012).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in April:

* In Gary the rate fell marginally to 14.1 percent, from 14.4 percent in March (13.0 percent in April 2012).

* In East Chicago the rate dropped by more than a full point, to 11.9 percent from 13.1 percent in March (12.9 percent in April 2012).

* In Hammond the rate also dropped by more than a full point, to 10.3 percent from 11.6 percent in March (9.2 percent in April 2012).

* In Michigan City the rate fell to 11.3 percent, from 12.6 percent in March (10.7 percent in April 2012).

* In LaPorte the rate slipped to 9.6 percent, from 10.5 percent in March (9.7 percent in April 2012).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in April was 7.5 percent , down from 7.6 percent in March (7.7 percent in April 2012).

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 13.9 percent, up from 13.8 percent in March (14.1 percent in April 2012).

"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 for 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 5/17/2013