Jobless rates decline in Ill., Ind.
Unemployment rates dipped in Indiana and Illinois in November, according to data released Friday by state and federal labor departments.
In preliminary data adjusted for seasonal changes in employment, Indiana’s jobless rate was 9.8 percent in November, which is down 0.1 percent from a month earlier. The unemployment rate in Indiana matched the national average last month.
Private sector employment dropped by 2,600 in the Hoosier state in November, but the state has added 46,200 jobs this year, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Compared to last year, private sector employment is up 2 percent in 2010, while the growth rate at the national level is 1.1 percent.
“Indiana’s unemployment rate has decreased by 0.4 of a percent since the summer,” said Mark Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development in a news release. “This decline is noteworthy because the U.S. rate has been going up during the same period.”
Illinois’ jobless rate fell 0.2 percent to 9.6 percent in November from a month earlier. The Illinois Department of Employment Security said November was the eighth consecutive month of a falling seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. It is also the first month since January 2007 that Illinois’ unemployment rate fell below the U.S. rate.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Labor that collects and distributes economic information, estimated that Indiana and Illinois have a combined 946,200 people out of work and searching for employment.
Indiana and Illinois were among 15 states that notched month-over-month unemployment rate decreases in November, according to BLS data. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia had rate increases in November, while jobless rates in 14 states stayed the same. With 14.2 percent of its labor force seeking work, Nevada had the highest unemployment rate among states.
Lake County was the only one among Northwest Indiana’s seven counties that showed a month-over-month unemployment rate decrease in November. According to data from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development not adjusted for seasonal employment swings, the unemployment rate in Lake County was 10.1 percent last month, down from 10.9 percent a month earlier. Porter and Pulaski counties had the area’s lowest jobless rates in November at 8.2 percent.
Local unemployment rates
November unemployment rates in municipalities with populations of 25,000 residents or more:
• East Chicago: 14.2 percent, unchanged from a month earlier
• Gary: 12.1 percent, down 0.4 percent
• Michigan City: 11.6 percent, down 0.5 percent
• Hammond: 11.1 percent, down 2.1 percent
• Hobart: 10.1 percent, down 0.2 percent
• Merrillville: 9.9 percent, down 0.7 percent
• Portage: 9.9 percent, up 0.5 percent
• Schererville: 8 percent, down 0.5 percent
• Valparaiso: 7.9 percent, up 0.2 percent
Data is not adjusted for seasonal employment changes
Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development