Unemployment dropped across Northwest Indiana in September, falling by as much as 0.6 of a percentage point in Gary.
The jobless rate fell to 3.9% in September, down from 4.1% the previous month, across the Gary metropolitan area, which encompasses Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties. The unemployment rate in the Gary metro area stood at 4.2% a year prior, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
In September, Lake County had the state's second-highest jobless rate at 4.3%, down from 4.4% in August and down from 4.5% in September 2018. Lake County's jobless rate remained stubbornly higher than the unemployment rates in the state, the Chicago area as a whole, neighboring Illinois and the country.
LaPorte County ranked fourth highest out of Indiana's 92 counties at 3.6% unemployment in September, which was down from 4% in August and from 3.8% at the same time a year ago, according to the Department of Workforce Development.
Joblessness in the Michigan City-LaPorte metro area, which consists of just LaPorte County, fell by 0.4 percentage points month over month in September.
Porter County's unemployment decreased to 3.3% in September, down from 3.5% in August and from 3.4% at the same point a year earlier. It was the ninth highest jobless rate statewide.
Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate fell to 3.2% in September, which was the lowest rate in the Hoosier state in nearly two decades, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Neighboring Illinois' jobless rate dropped to a record low of 3.9%, down from 4% the previous month, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Unemployment climbed as high as 12% in Northwest Indiana during the depths of the Great Recession a decade ago.
Joblessness dropped in September in nearly every Northwest Indiana city and town where it's tracked, falling by 0.5 of a percentage point in Valparaiso, 0.4 in Michigan City and 0.3 in Crown Point. It ticked up by 0.1 of a percentage point in Hobart and Merrillville.