Fewer NWI Steel Jobs, But Higher Steel Production
August 4, 2014 — The Associated Press — Northwest Indiana’s lost a third of its steelmaking jobs since 2000, but reports show the remaining workers are producing more raw metal than their counterparts did. The number of metal workers in the region has fallen by 8,700 jobs, or 33-percent, since 2000. But a report by ArcelorMittal USA shows those workers are producing nearly 27 percent more tons than their predecessors.
Indiana University Northwest economics professor Micah Pollak told the Lakeshore’s Steve Walsh on “Regionally Speaking” that there’ve been some short-term issues that affected steel industry jobs, like the recent recession, as well as long-term modernization at the mills.
Pollack says that the situation could be worse. Nationally, employment in primary metals manufacturing has fallen by 36-percent, while the number of metal manufacturing jobs in the Gary metropolitan area has risen by 3.5-percent since 2010. Pollack says job diversification is still very important, even with the steel industry so dominant locally.
U.S. mills produced 95 million tons of steel last year.