April showers bring May jobs for Elkhart County
Posted: 06/16/2012 at 8:33 am
By: Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development released the numbers Friday. Based on that report, Elkhart County’s unemployment rate slipped to 8.6 percent in May from 8.7 percent in April. More significantly, the rate remained largely unchanged even though the total number in the labor pool rose to 96,552 from 94,686.
For the state as a whole, the seasonally unadjusted rate inched up to 7.8 percent during May from 7.7 percent the month prior. Sectors posting the highest job growth included the trade, transportation and utilities segment with 4,200 new positions and the private education and health services category with 4,100 more workers.
Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, described Indiana’s job growth in May as astonishing but cautioned the state should not expect to keep posting such gains.
“Despite this continued bout of good news in Indiana, it is clear that the world is edging into a recession,” Hicks said in an email. “While Indiana is clearly in a stronger position, we cannot avoid some of the pain of vastly slower growth nationally and internationally in the months ahead.”
Elkhart County now has the 27th highest unemployment rate in the state. Fayette County leads Indiana with a rate of 10.6 percent and Dubois County ranks the lowest at 5.4 percent.
The city of Elkhart stayed stubbornly stuck in double digits despite its unemployment rate dropping to 10.4 percent in May from 11.0 percent. Goshen fared better with its joblessness falling to 7.8 percent from 8.3 percent.
Indiana boasted about its performance in May, noting the state’s private sector jobs grew at 0.3 percent, three times higher than the national rate of 0.1 percent. Since May 2011, the number of manufacturing jobs has grown 4.8 percent, twice the national rate, while jobs in the construction section have increased 3.9 percent, 25 times the national rate.