Northwest Indiana’s unemployment rate falls

Lupe Arroyo, center, at the Staff Source booth, talks with job seekers in June at the 2016 Diversity Career Fair at the Radisson Hotel in Merrillville. The Gary metro's jobless rate declined by 0.2 percent in October.

Tony V. Martin

Unemployment fell across Northwest Indiana in October, falling by 0.3 percent in Lake County and 0.2 percent in Porter County.

Joblessness dropped by 0.2 percent across the Gary metropolitan area that encompasses most of Northwest Indiana's population.

Lake County had the state's third-highest jobless rate of 5 percent in October. LaPorte County was seventh highest out of Indiana's 92 counties with an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Porter County's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, 23rd 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 — fell to 5 percent in October, down from 5.3 percent the previous month, according to the Department of Workforce Development.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metro area, which is just LaPorte County, decreased to 4.2 percent in October, down from 4.4 percent in September.

The jobless rate in the Gary metro was down 0.4 percent as compared to the same time a year ago, and unemployment in the Michigan City metro fell by 0.8 percent over the same period.

Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in October, up 0.1 percent from September, the fourth straight month it increased, while Illinois' jobless rate ticked down to 4.9 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The national rate was 4.1 percent last month.

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

Joblessness fell last month in every city and town that's tracked in Northwest Indiana, except for Schererville and Valparaiso, where it stayed steady. Most dramatically it fell by 0.6 percent in Hammond and 0.5 percent in Portage.

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Business reporter

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.