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Unemployment rate falls slightly across most of Northwest Indiana
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Unemployment rate falls slightly across most of Northwest Indiana

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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 most — but not all — of Northwest Indiana in October, dipping slightly as compared to the previous month.

The jobless rate fell to 3.8% in October, down from 3.9% 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 4.3% a year prior, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

In October, Lake County had the state's second-highest jobless rate at 4.2%, down from 4.3% in September and down from 4.6% in October 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 eight highest out of Indiana's 92 counties at 3.5% unemployment in October, which was down from 3.6% in September and from 4% 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, also fell by 0.1 percentage points month over month in October.

Porter County's unemployment decreased to 3.2% in October, down from 3.3% in September and from 3.5% at the same point a year earlier. It was the 25th highest jobless rate statewide.

Overall, Indiana's unemployment rate remained at 3.2% in October, 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 also stood at a record low of 3.9%, 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.

In October, joblessness fell in Gary, Hobart, Merrillville, Michigan City, Portage and Schererville as compared to the previous month. It was unchanged in East Chicago and Hammond and rose slightly in Crown Point and Valparaiso, which nonetheless had two of the lowest unemployment rates in the Region.

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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.

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