Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Business

July 2, 2013

Elkhart County leads nation in job growth

GOSHEN — Elkhart County led the nation in job growth by percentage in 2012 and was ninth for wage gain in the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the county had a 7.4 percent gain compared to the national gain of 1.9 percent for large counties. In March the bureau had announced the county led the country in job growth from September 2011 to September 2012. This most recent announcement is for the 2012 calendar year.

The bureau reported the county had an 8.9 percent gain in wages from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2012, placing it ninth in the country for wage gain. The average weekly wage in the county in the fourth quarter for 2012 was $782. But that number doesn’t mean the county has higher-than-average wages. Elkhart County’s average weekly wage is below the state average of $816, according to bureau statistics, and well below the national average of $1,000 weekly.

When just manufacturing jobs are considered, the employment growth was even larger. The county added 5,479 manufacturing jobs in 2012, which was an 11.6 percent growth rate in that segment of the economy.

Local leaders were happy to hear the news.

“People are getting more confidence in the economy,” said Goshen Chamber of Commerce President David Daugherty. “They are beginning to buy RVs. We are seeing RV sales going back up to some highs in the mid-2005-06 area, and we have some RV suppliers and producers doing pretty darn good right now.”

RV sales are essential to the county’s economic growth as 40 percent of the county’s manufacturing base is tied to the RV industry. And that industry has become even more concentrated in Elkhart County due to consolidations during the recession and following years that resulted in mergers and North American operations being centralized in the county.

“Over 80 percent of the RVs produced in the country are produced here in Elkhart County,” Daugherty said. “Whether its Dutchmen, Keystone or Forest River. These guys are just going at record numbers, and that means Lippert and others who supply them are doing the same thing.”

Lippert Components in Goshen is one of several RV supplier companies that have announced expansion plans in the past year.

While the bureau’s statistics cover 2012, local job growth has been continuing this year. In May Lippert officials told the City Council the company would expand operations at three Goshen plants and add equipment and 378 new jobs by 2016. The company will invest $10 million in the expansion.

And the job growth is occurring countywide.

“There are help wanted signs out,” Nappanee Mayor Larry Thompson said of his community. “We have bounced back, I think better than most. Our local companies are diversified a little bit. Even though there was some pretty tough times, we didn’t loose many. ...”

Nappanee has RV manufacturers and suppliers dotting the lots in the city’s industrial parks. But there are manufacturers in other segments of the economy as well, including Kountry Wood Products that manufactures furniture and cabinets and Challenger Door, which manufactures doors for buses.

As he sees “help wanted” signs around Nappanee and the county, Thompson said he is wondering about the official jobless rate, which was 8.2 percent in May.

“I wonder what the full employment number is,” Thompson asked. “Maybe we are near full employment.”

As the county continues to rebound from the 2007-2009 recession that blew up the local jobless rate to more than 18 percent, Thompson said he is grateful for all the local business owners who stuck it out.

“These are people who support our community for just bout everything we do,” Thompson said. “And we are glad to seem them back and hiring.”

County job growth

by percentage


Elkhart, Ind.                 7.4

Lexington, S.C.           6.9

Rutherford, Tenn.        6.4

Utah, Utah                    6.0

Montgomery, Texas    5.7

Fort Bend, Texas        5.3

Douglas, Colo.            5.1

Collin, Texas               4.8

Brazos, Texas             4.4

Travis, Texas              4.3

Salt Lake, Utah           4.3

 

1
Text Only
Business
  • BIZ GN140801 eby ford image 02 Eby Ford renovates showroom and more GOSHEN — The remodeled and expanded Eby Ford, Lincoln, Mercury dealership was celebrated Thursday night during an open house and ribbon cutting. “Without our awesome customers, we wouldn’t be here,” said owner Todd Eby as he addressed the crowd of fr

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Economy GDP-3 [Duplicate] U.S. economy heating up First quarter growth hits 4 percent

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0731 soapy gnome image 02 Soapy Gnome offers sustainable skin-care products GOSHEN — You can smell the fragrant products in the Soapy Gnome shop before you get to the front door. Tucked in a walkdown storefront at East Lincoln Avenue, at 111B, Jenny Frech and her husband Jeremy Friesen recently moved the store to the locati

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • BIZ GN0730 Growing kids daycare image New day care center will open in August GOSHEN — There’s a Main Street in downtown Goshen and now there’s another, shorter Main Street in Goshen. The new road is located inside the new Growing Kids Learning Center.The newly-built center is located at Elkhart Road and C.R. 17. The day care

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Amazon Fire breaks ground for phones NEW YORK — What I find fascinating about Amazon’s Fire phone isn’t the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products.Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought to work

    July 28, 2014 5 Photos

  • News and South Bend Tribune reach delivery agreement GOSHEN — The Goshen News announced today it has reached an agreement with the South Bend Tribune to have its newspaper carriers deliver the Goshen News in Elkhart, LaGrange and Kosciusko counties. According to Publisher Ron Smith, the agreement will

    July 28, 2014

  • BIZ GN140727 urban gypsy image Crafters open Urban Gypsy & Co in Goshen GOSHEN — A shop filled with colorful and fragrant items along East Lincoln Avenue has become part of the growing arts and artisan culture in the city.Urban Gypsy & Co. is at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.Missy Wrathell, Elkhart, and McKenzie Beiler and Kristin

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • PicPlayPost: App to create dynamic collages If you have a smartphone, you’ve likely seen and used various photo collage apps that allow you to add multiple photos that are then combined into one image collage. There are many to choose from and they all work about the same.PicPlayPost is differ

    July 27, 2014

  • Fast Food Workers Convention-3 [Duplicate] Fast food workers push wage hike CHICAGO — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers are expected to discuss the future of the ef

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supreme Industries reports improved quarter GOSHEN — Supreme Industries Inc. reported Thursday its second quarter sales and income were up. The company, which makes specialized commercial vehicles, reported its consolidated net sales from continuing operations grew to $71.6 million in the seco

    July 24, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results