Joblessness rises in Northwest Indiana but remains below national average

The Times Diversity Conference and Job Fair in June at the Avalon Manor banquet Center. Unemployment rose slightly last month in the Region.

Tony V. Martin, The Times

Unemployment rose slightly across Northwest Indiana in June, though it remains relatively low and below the national average.

Lake County had the state's sixth-highest jobless rate of 4.2 percent in June. LaPorte County was 10th highest out of Indiana's 92 counties with an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Porter County's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, 24th highest in the state.

The seasonally unadjusted jobless rate in the Gary metro area — which is made up of Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties — rose to 4 percent in June, up from 3.7 percent the previous month, according to Workforce Development.

The Gary metro's jobless rate remained below the national average of 4.4 percent in June.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metro area, which is just LaPorte County, increased to 3.8 percent in May, up from 3.5 percent in June.

The jobless rate in both the Gary and Michigan City metros was down 2 percent as compared to the same time a year ago.

Indiana's unemployment rate was 3 percent in June, while Illinois' jobless rate was 4.7 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Unemployment had been as high as 12 percent in Northwest Indiana during the depths of the Great Recession.

Joblessness rose last month in every city and town that's tracked in Northwest Indiana, by as much as 0.4 percent in Gary and Michigan City.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.