The Northwest Indiana steel industry has lost a third of its jobs since the turn of the 21st century, according to an online news report.

Employment in primary metals manufacturing has declined by 8,700 jobs since the year 2000, a plunge of 33% and due in part to the domestic industry's struggles and automation in steel mills on Lake Michigan's southern shores.

While this might sound disheartening, it's not quite as bad as the national picture in the USA, which has lost 36% of jobs in primary metals manufacturing.

Sticking with the national picture, the employment situation at US steel mills in 2000 was 135,000. That has since fallen to 91,000, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics following a handful of bankruptcy filings.

Local employment in the primary metals sector in Northwest Indiana has risen by 3.5% to 17,900 compared with 17,300 jobs in 2010 and 14 years ago there were 625,000 people engaged in primary metals manufacturing; today that number is just 400,000.

But there are greater efficiencies on a per worker basis. ArcelorMittal's recently published 2013 Fact Book states that in 2000 a single steelworker accounted for 831 tons of raw steel. Today that figure is 1,054 tons – a rise of 27%