Elkhart County unemployment in October reached 7.4 percent, up slightly from September, but down from the last previously released figure, 7.7 percent in August, according to numbers released Friday, Nov. 22.
The numbers — the first released since late September because of the federal government shutdown in October — show that the labor force in the county has dipped since August. In August, the last previous numbers available, there were 92,014 people in the labor force here but that fell to 90,754 in September and rebounded slightly to 90,938 in October.
Reflecting what many say is the ongoing recovery of the local economy, the 7.4 percent October jobless rate in Elkhart County compares to 8.9 percent a year earlier in October 2012. The jobless rate in September was 7.3 percent.
In the city of Elkhart, October unemployment totaled 9.1 percent, compared with 9 percent in September and 9.5 percent in August, according to the non-seasonally adjusted figures from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In Goshen, unemployment totaled 7.6 percent in October, compared with 6.9 percent in September and 7.5 percent in August.
Statewide, seasonally adjusted unemployment totaled 7.5 percent in October, 7.8 percent in September and 8.1 percent in August.
Nationally, seasonally adjusted unemployment was 7.3 percent in October, 7.2 percent in September and 7.3 percent in August.
The dip of nearly one percentage point in the statewide seasonally adjusted rate since July is “definitely significant,” Scott Sanders, the Indiana DWD commissioner, said in a statement Friday. “The steady private sector job growth the Hoosier state has been experiencing for some time now is finally beginning to be reflected in the unemployment rate, which many businesses and individuals rely on to make important economic decisions.”
Private sector employment grew by 6,600 jobs in Indiana in October, according to the DWD, with 3,600 new manufacturing jobs.
The October unemployment rate in St. Joseph County was 8.4 percent. In Kosciusko County it was 5.8 percent and in LaGrange County it was 5.9 percent.