Elkhart County's jobless rate falls despite surging labor force

The jobless rate in Elkhart County fell in July, signaling the local economy’s best performance since before the recession.

Posted on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:32 p.m.

Elkhart County’s jobless rate fell to 5.2 percent in July, down from 5.6 percent in June, and figures released Tuesday, Aug. 19, signal the local economy’s best performance since before the recession.

In particular, about 94,710 people had jobs in the area, the most of any month since before the depths of the recession in 2009, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that were released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. An estimated 5,704 people were unemployed, slightly more than the 5,093 in May when the rate was 5.3 percent, but July’s jobless rate was lower because the labor force was larger, measuring 99,914 compared to 97,005 in May.

Employers throughout Elkhart continue to post signs seeking workers and host hiring events.

The Elkhart-Goshen metro area’s 5.2-percent jobless rate was the second-lowest of Indiana’s 14 metro areas, higher than only the Columbus area’s rate of 4.2 percent.

Elkhart County fell square in the middle of the pack when compared to its adjacent counties. Its rate was higher than two counties, LaGrange at 4.8 percent and Kosciusko at 4.5 percent, lower than two counties, St. Joseph at 6.7 percent and Noble at 5.4 percent, and equal to Marshall’s 5.2 percent.

Of Indiana’s 92 counties, Elkhart was one of 52 that posted lower jobless rates than the state’s 5.8 percent non-seasonally adjusted rate.

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