Elkhart County's jobless rate fell to 6.2 percent in January, its lowest level since May 2008, according to state figures released Monday, March 17.
The county's 6.2 percent rate was down from 6.7 percent unemployment in December.
The county has a ways to go before recording its lowest rate in the past 10 years. It dropped to 3.9 percent four times in 2004, in April, May, August and September of that year, according to Indiana Department of Workforce Development data.
Elkhart County's unemployment rate ranked near the middle when compared to its five bordering counties in Indiana. St. Joseph, Marshall and Noble counties had higher rates, at 7.3 percent, 7.1 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, while LaGrange and Kosciusko counties' rates were lower, at 5.3 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.
Indiana's seasonally adjusted January rate of 6.4 percent remained the lowest among all neighboring states, and was lower than the 6.6 percent U.S. seasonally adjusted rate. Indiana led the nation in jobs added in January, with 4,600, followed by Missouri with 2,500 and Ohio with 2,400.
An estimated 2,700 Hoosiers returned to the labor force in January and fewer were unemployed in January than at any time since August 2008. Despite extreme winter weather, initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits statewide were nearly 6,000 below January 2013 levels, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.