Unemployment drops across Northwest Indiana

The Times Diversity Conference and Job Fair at the Avalon Manor banquet Center in July. Unemployment declined across the Region in September. 

photo by Tony V. Martin

Unemployment fell across Northwest Indiana in September, falling by 0.3 percent in Lake County and 0.6 percent in Porter County.

Joblessness dropped by 0.4 percent across the Gary metropolitan area that encompasses most of Northwest Indiana's population.

Lake County had the state's second-highest jobless rate of 5.3 percent in September. LaPorte County was eighth highest out of Indiana's 92 counties with an unemployment rate of 4.3 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Porter County's unemployment rate was 4 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 4.9 percent in September, down from 5.3 percent the previous month, according to Workforce Development.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metro area, which is just LaPorte County, decreased to 4.3 percent in September, down from 4.9 percent in August.

The jobless rate in the Gary metro was down 0.6 percent as compared to the same time a year ago, and unemployment in the Michigan City metro also fell by 0.6 percent over the same period.

Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in September, up 0.3 percent from August, while Illinois' jobless rate rose stayed steady at 5 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The national rate was 4.2 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. Most dramatically it fell by 1 full percentage point in Merrillville. It also dropped by 0.6 percent in Michigan City and 0.5 percent in Valparaiso.

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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.