Indiana jobless rate ticks down
Indiana’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent to 9.5 percent in December.
December’s jobless rate decreased 0.2 percent from one year ago. The last time Indiana’s unemployment rate was at 9.5 percent was February 2009, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
“Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in almost two years,” said Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. “Over the course of 2010, we saw growth in manufacturing and professional and business services, partially offset by declines in construction.”
The number of unemployed Hoosiers is below 300,000 for the first time since January 2009, the department said. Private-sector employment in Indiana declined in December by 9,100; however, the state added 36,400 private-sector jobs in 2010.
Officials said last week the unemployment rate in Illinois declined again in December to 9.3 percent—its lowest level since March 2009.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Friday the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point last month from its November level, marking its ninth consecutive month of decline.
The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, declined in December by four-tenths of a percentage point to 9.4 percent.
IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said December was the second straight month in which Illinois had a lower unemployment rate than the nation as a whole.
O’Donnell said preliminary data indicates Illinois will have ended 2010 with a growing economy, something that has not happened since 2007.
Lake County’s jobless rate was 10 percent in December, down 0.2 percent from a month earlier. LaPorte County also dropped 0.2 percent to 10.5 percent. Porter County had a 0.1 percent drop to 8.1 percent.
Elkhart County at 12.8 percent and Fayette and Vermillion counties at 12.5 percent had Indiana’s highest December jobless rates. The statewide unemployment rate peaked at 10.6 percent in June 2009.
Times Business Editor Matt Saltanovitz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Local unemployment rates
Local nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rates for December:
East Chicago: 13.3 percent
Gary: 11.1 percent
Hammond: 10.8 percent
Hobart: 10.5 percent
Merrillville: 10 percent
Michigan City: 11.2 percent
Portage: 9.5 percent
Schererville: 7.7 percent
Valparaiso: 7.8 percent
Source: Indiana Department of Workforce Development