Industry Rebound Pumping Up Elkhart County
The numbers are good. As reported by the South Bend Tribune, the predictions covering the next 18 months are for continued solid growth.
No matter how you look at it, things are looking up now and for the foreseeable future in the recreational vehicle industry.
That’s very important to Elkhart County and the state of Indiana.
The RV industry employs more than 24,000 people in Elkhart County, including RV manufacturers and suppliers. Northern Indiana builds 82% of all recreational vehicles in the United States, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.
And the rebound of the RV industry is reflected in how much the unemployment rate has fallen in Elkhart County since 2009.
The unemployment rate is down to 8.9% in Elkhart County in June, a nearly 10 percentage point drop from the 18.3% mark it reached in January 2009 when Elkhart County was the poster child of the Great Recession.
But it’s the positive numbers coming out of the RV industry that further tell the story.
Wholesale shipments of all RVs were at 29,079 units in May of this year’s, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). That’s up 4.9% compared to May 2011. And for the first five months this year, RV shipments are up 8.6% compared to the same period last year.
“The industry is recovering,” said Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the RVIA. “We are not recovered. There is still some distance to go to get back to where the industry was before the recession.”
True, but the 2012 numbers are a far cry from 2008 and 2009. And this year is expected to mark the third straight year of increased shipments.
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