Although local union leader Jim Robinson said the economy "seems" to be getting better, there isn't a large share of job growth occurring in Northwest Indiana, especially within the manufacturing sector.
The unemployment rates in December in Porter, Lake and LaPorte counties were at 8.5 percent, 10.2 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, according to data not adjusted for seasonal shifts in employment. Last month, Indiana had a seasonally adjusted rate of 8 percent and a not seasonally adjusted rate of 8.5 percent.
Nonfarm employment in Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties was down by 6,500 during the 2012 calendar year while the state gained 58,800 jobs, according to data not adjusted for seasonal swings in employment.
Robinson said in the steel industry, a lot of the hiring being done is the result of a demographic turnover of the workforce, largely spurred by baby boomers and older workers deciding to retire.