Unemployment rises across the Calumet Region

The Times Diversity Conference and Job Fair on Thursday at the Avalon Manor banquet Center in June. Joblessness rose across Northwest Indiana in July.

photo by Tony V. Martin

Unemployment jumped across Northwest Indiana in July, shooting up by 0.7 percent in Lake County and 0.6 percent across the broader Gary metro.

Lake County had the state's fourth-highest jobless rate of 4.9 percent in July. LaPorte County was 10th 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 3.9 percent, 19th 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 4.6 percent in July, up from 4 percent the previous month, according to Workforce Development.

The Gary metro's jobless rate rose above the national average of 4.3 percent in July after a rare run of a few months where it was lower than the rest of the country.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metro area, which is just LaPorte County, increased to 4.2 percent in July, up from 3.8 percent in June.

The jobless rate in the Gary metro was down 1.3 percent as compared to the same time a year ago, while unemployment in the Michigan City metro fell by 1.4 percent over the same period.

Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate was 3.1 percent in July, while Illinois' jobless rate was 4.8 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 1.3 percent in Gary and 0.9 percent in East Chicago, as compared to the previous month. The smallest increase was in Schererville, where it ticked up by 0.2 percent.

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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.