Unemployment jumps by as much as 1 percent in NWI in August

The Times Diversity Conference and Job Fair in June at the Avalon Manor banquet Center. Joblessness shot up across Northwest Indiana last month.

photo by Tony V. Martin

Unemployment jumped significantly across Northwest Indiana again in August, shooting up by 0.7 percent in Lake County and 0.6 percent across the broader Gary metropolitan area.

Lake County had the state's second-highest jobless rate of 5.6 percent in August. LaPorte County was eighth highest out of Indiana's 92 counties with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Porter County's unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, 20th 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 5.3 percent in August, up from 4.6 percent the previous month, according to Workforce Development.

Unemployment in the Michigan City metro area, which is just LaPorte County, increased to 4.9 percent in August, up from 4.2 percent in July.

The jobless rate in the Gary metro was down 0.6 percent as compared to the same time a year ago, while unemployment in the Michigan City metro fell by 0.8 percent over the same period.

Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in August, up 0.4 percent from July, while Illinois' jobless rate rose 0.2 percent to 5 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 percent in Hammond and Gary.

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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.