GOSHEN — Elkhart County’s unemployment numbers continued to drop in March, dipping to 9.4 percent, according to numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Friday morning, April 19.
That’s down from 9.8 percent in February and 10.3 percent in January, and compares to 9.9 percent one year ago.
Elkhart County is now closer to the state average (not seasonally adjusted) of 9.1 percent in March. That statewide number also represented a decline from 9.3 percent in February and 9.6 percent in January.
In neighboring counties, St. Joseph County saw a slight decline from February to March, going from 10.6 percent unemployment to 10.5 percent. LaGrange County remained stable at 8.2 percent. Kosciusko, Noble and Marshall counties all saw declines in their unemployment rates in March, as well.
The state lost 11,000 private-sector jobs in he last month, the first decline in more than a year.
“While March’s job numbers are evidence of some uncertainty in the market and confirm there is a good deal more work to do, we cannot overstate Indiana’s prominence and growing strength in manufacturing,” said Scott B. Sanders, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. “The Hoosier State has more manufacturing jobs as a percentage of our private sector than any other state in the U.S. and we continue to experience real, tangible proof of sustained growth and propensity for expansion potential.”
Elkhart County’s estimated labor force was 90,720 in March, up slightly from February’s revised figure of 90,669. That’s also higher than the 90,594 estimated workers in March, 2012.
The statistics came out a day after Gov. Mike Pence visited Middlebury to announce up to 500 jobs at Grand Design RV, up from the 115 hired there in the last few months as the company started. It’s also just a few days after the latest jobs announcement from Lippert Components.