Chesterton Tribune

 

 

State jobless rate steady, falls across NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Indiana’s jobless rate stuck fast in March at 8.7 percent, the same as in February, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) said in a statement released on Friday.

Indiana--with more manufacturing jobs as a part of the private sector than any other state in the U.S. (19.7 percent of Indiana’s private sector)--experienced another month of increase in manufacturing jobs, production hours, and durable goods production employment. “All of which may point to sustained growth and future expansion potential,” DWD said.

“Indiana witnessed the first decline in jobs in more than a year, as the state shed approximately 11,000 private sector jobs over the past month,” DWD added. “The bulk of the loss was experienced in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which is possible evidence of some uncertainty in the market and the recent unseasonable weather.”

“While March’s job numbers are evidence of some uncertainty in the market and confirm there is a good deal more work to do, we cannot overstate Indiana’s prominence and growing strength in manufacturing,” DWD Commissioner Scott Sanders said. “The Hoosier State has more manufacturing jobs as a percentage of our private sector than any other state in the U.S. and we continue to experience real, tangible proof of sustained growth and propensity for expansion potential.”

Sanders also noted that Indiana still outpaces the national average (7.5 percent versus 5.2 percent) for private sector job growth since July 2009--the low point of employment in Indiana--and that initial claims for unemployment remain below 2005 levels.

Sectors showing gains in March included construction (+900); and manufacturing (+200).

Sectors showing a decline were trade, transportation and utilities (-5,900); professional and business services (-2,100); private educational and health services (-2,100); financial activities (-900); and leisure and hospitality (-600).

Total non-farm employment decreased in March (-12,400).

Regionally, Locally

In Northwest Indiana, jobless rates were generally lower.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate in March dropped to 8.7 percent, from 9.0 percent in February (8.0 percent in March 2012). Throughout the county, 7,088 people were looking for work, a decrease of 3.7 percent from February (an increase of 8.3 percent since March 2012).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in March fell to 10.8 percent, from 11.1 percent in February (9.7 percent in March 2012). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in March dipped to 11.6 percent, from 11.9 percent in February (10.7 percent in March 2012).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in March dropped by half a point, to 7.9 percent from 8.4 percent (7.7 percent in March 2012). A total of 524 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 6.9 percent from February (an increase of 5.9 percent since March 2012).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in March was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the same as in February (7.7 percent in March 2012). A total of 1,288 people was looking for work in March, similarly unchanged from February (an increase of 5.6 percent since March 2012).

In Portage the unemployment rate fell by half a point, to 9.6 percent from 10.1 percent in February (9.2 percent in March 2012). A total of 1,687 people was looking for work in March, a decrease of 5.4 percent since February (an increase of 4.1 percent since March 2012).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in March:

* In Gary the rate fell marginally to 14.4 percent, from 14.5 percent in February (12.9 percent in March 2012).

* In East Chicago the rate plummeted by a full point, to 13.1 percent from 14.1 percent in February (13.0 percent in March 2012).

* In Hammond the rate rose marginally to 11.6 percent, from 11.5 percent in February (10.2 percent in March 2012).

* In Michigan City the rate dipped to 12.6 percent, from 11.2 percent in February (11.2 percent in March 2012).

* In LaPorte the rate dropped to 10.5 percent, from 10.9 percent in February (11.3 percent in March 2012).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in March was 7.6 percent , down from 7.7 percent in February (8.4 percent in March 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 March was 13.8 percent, down from 14.3 percent in February (14.8 percent in March 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 4/22/2013