The number of jobs and the money earned by workers both rose in a year’s time in Elkhart County, according to new government numbers.
This story by Roger Schneider originally appeared in Goshen News.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday Elkhart County led the state’s largest counties with a 4.7 percent employment gain from March 2017 to March 2018. The national employment gain during that period was 1.6 percent.
Average weekly wages in Elkhart County during the same time period rose 3.8 percent, according to the BLS data. The average weekly wage in the county was $1,006, which places the county at 169th on a list of the 349 largest counties in the U.S.
The growth in Elkhart County wages does not come as a surprise during a time when jobs number 115,671 and the unemployment rate is 2.9 percent, according to Goshen Chamber of Commerce President Nick Kieffer.
“A tight labor market usually increases wages,” Kieffer said. “That is a way for companies to try and retain talent.”
He said the local economy has always been a labor magnet, drawing in workers from surrounding counties. Kieffer said the last numbers he saw for commuting workers was 29,000 to 30,000.
And looking ahead, the labor market looks steady.