Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

December 21, 2013

Local jobless rates up

Unemployment in local counties inched up in November, according to information released Friday by Indiana Workforce Development.

In Elkhart County, the jobless rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.4 percent in October. In November 2012 the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent.

Kosciusko County’s rate was 6 percent in November, up from 5.8 percent in October. In November 2012 the jobless rate was 7.3 percent.

LaGrange County had the largest local jump in unemployment, with the rate moving to 6.4 percent in November from 5.9 percent in October. In November 2012 the rate was 7.7 percent.

Noble County’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in November, up from 6.8 percent in October. The November 2012 rate was 9.1 percent.

In two local cities, Elkhart and Goshen, the unemployment rate was steady.

Goshen’s rate was 7.4 percent in November, down from 7.5 percent in October. The November 2012 unemployment rate was 8.6 percent.

Elkhart’s jobless rate was 9.1 percent in November, the same as the rate in October. The city had an 11.3 unemployment rate in November 2012.

Indiana

Indiana’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend, falling slightly to 7.3 percent for November.

According to Workforce Development, Indiana’s jobless rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point last month.

The new report shows about 230,000 people were looking for jobs last month in Indiana — some 25,000 fewer job seekers than a year ago when the state’s unemployment rate was 8.4 percent.

Indiana gained about 25,000 private-sector jobs in November, with the construction and manufacturing sectors among those adding workers.

That was the largest one-month jump in private sector job growth on record for Indiana, according to state officials.

Gov. Mike Pence called the employment report “welcome news” for the state.

“The continued downward trend in unemployment and the significant growth in private sector jobs demonstrate that Indiana’s economy is strong and growing stronger every day,” Pence said in a statement.

The state’s unemployment rate peaked at 10.8 percent in mid-2009, with nearly 350,000 people then looking for jobs. Indiana joblessness declined below 9 percent in late 2010, but had not fallen much more until the last few months.

Indiana’s unemployment rate remains slightly higher than the national rate of 7 percent but is lower than its four neighboring states.

Parts of the state continue to struggle with high joblessness as 20 of Indiana’s 92 counties still have unemployment rates of 8 percent or higher.

Fayette and Vermillion counties have the state’s highest jobless marks at 9.9 percent each. Lake County, the state’s second-most populous county, is next highest at 9.1 percent.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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