Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Jobless rate stable statewide, up in NWI

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The state’s jobless rate in December was stable at 3.6 percent, the same as in November (3.4 percent in December 2017), the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is reporting.

With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment 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 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 in December had a net increase of 1,543 over November. This was the result of an increase of 83 unemployed residents and an increase of 1,460 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.4 million. The state’s 65.1-percent labor-force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.1 percent.

Private-sector employment grew by 42,700 over 2018 and in December by 12,200 over November. This monthly increase is chiefly due to gains in private educational and health services (+4,200), construction (+3,900), and leisure and hospitality (+1,500). In addition, preliminary construction jobs continue to be at the highest level since April 2008.

Regionally and Locally

Here in Northwest Indiana, the jobless rate was mostly higher in December.

In Porter County the seasonally unadjusted rate in December was 3.9 percent, compared to 3.8 percent in November (3.7 percent in December 2017).

In Lake County the unemployment rate in December was 5.2 percent, compared to 5.0 percent in November (3.7 percent in December 2017). In LaPorte County the unemployment rate in December was 4.7 percent, compared to 4.5 percent in November (4.1 percent in December 2017).

In Chesterton the unemployment rate in December was stable at 3.6 percent, the same as in November (3.5 percent in December 2017).

In Valparaiso the unemployment rate in December was 3.8 percent, compared to 3.9 percent in November (3.5 percent in December 2017).

In Portage the unemployment rate in December was 4.5 percent, compared to 4.3 percent in November (4.3 percent in December 2017).

Unemployment rates elsewhere in December:

* In Gary the rate fell to 7.0 percent, from 7.3 percent in November (7.2 percent in December 2017).

* In East Chicago the rate rose by more than half a point, to 7.0 from 6.3 percent in November (6.4 percent in December 2017).

* In Hammond the rate increased to 5.7 percent, from 5.5 percent in November (5.5 percent in December 2017).

* In Michigan City the rate dropped to 5.1 percent, from 5.2 percent in November (4.2 percent in December 2017).

* In LaPorte the rate spiked by more than half a point, to 5.1 percent from 4.5 percent in November (4.4 percent in December 2017).

Alternative Measures

The official national unemployment rate in December was 3.9 percent, up from 3.7 percent in November (3.9 percent in December 2017).

However--according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics--if “discouraged workers,” all other “marginalized workers,” and “total part-time for economic reasons” are included in the tally, then the unofficial unemployment rate in December was 7. 6 percent, the same as in November (8.6 percent in December 2017).

Marginally attached workers are those who “indicate that they want to 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.”

 

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