Unemployment in Gary continues to decline

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Crusader Staff Report

Unemployment in Gary continues to fall during the pandemic along with other Indiana cities, according to the latest figures from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Gary’s unemployment rate in September was 15.7 percent. The unemployment rate in Gary has been dropping since May, when 20 percent of the city’s population was out of work during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate declined to 17.5 percent in July and to 16.2 percent in August.

Despite the declining figures, Gary’s unemployment rate remains the highest among Indiana cities with populations of at least 25,000 residents.

In Northwest Indiana, Gary and majority Black Merrillville (10.6 percent) and East Chicago (12.9 percent) are the three out of nine cities where the unemployment rate remains in the double digits.

In September 2019, the unemployment rate in Gary was 6.7 percent.

With COVID-19 cases rising throughout the country, Congress is far from passing a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks to Americans before the November 3 election, as the pandemic takes its toll on the cities and unemployed Americans.

In May, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House passed legislation that would give individual taxpayers with incomes of up to $75,000 a check for $1,200. Married taxpayers with incomes of up to $150,000 would receive $2,400. The legislation has been stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Monday, October 26, told reporters that talks were continuing, but declined to say whether he was optimistic or pessimistic about a deal.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said during an October 22 news conference that was broadcast on Bloomberg News, “We continue to be engaged in negotiations, and I am hopeful we will be able to reach an agreement.”

On Sunday, October 25, Pelosi told CNN that she sent the administration a list of concerns on Friday, October 23, and was told that she would receive answers on this past Monday.

The unemployment rate in most Indiana cities remain in the single digits. In Northwest Indiana, Schererville had the lowest unemployment rate at 6.2 percent, followed by Crown Point (6.5 percent), Muncie (7.0 percent), Elkhart (7.5 percent), Hobart (8.5 percent) and Hammond (9.0 percent).

The overall unemployment rate in Indiana was 6.2 percent in September. Among Midwest states, Iowa had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.7 percent, followed by Wisconsin (5.4 percent), Minnesota (6.0 percent), Ohio (8.4 percent), Michigan (8.5 percent) and Illinois (10.2 percent).

Nationally, the unemployment rate climbed to 7.9 percent in September from 7.7 percent in August.

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate among Black Americans is 11 percent, compared to 9.7 percent for Hispanics and 6.3 percent for white Americans.

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