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Unemployment rate falls across Northwest Indiana
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Unemployment rate falls across Northwest Indiana

Unemployment rate falls slightly across most of Northwest Indiana

Job seekers attend the 10th annual Indiana University Northwest job fair in 2011. Unemployment in the Gary metro rose last month.

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.

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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.

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