Report: Elkhart Co. Five Years After Recession
Editor’s Note: The following is part of a series by the Elkhart Truth examining the long-term health and stability of the economy in Indiana’s Elkhart County. To access other stories and view accompanying graphics click here.
A look at the latest data out of Indiana’s Elkhart offers mixed signals.
Unemployment is down to 5.7% cumulatively for the January through May period. The value of goods and gross domestic production, adjusted for inflation, has rebounded but not quite to prerecession highs. That’s all significant. Very significant. The economy has definitely improved.
But Elkhart County still lags the high watermarks set before the recession hit, and the data offers a more nuanced and mixed message.
The numbers show three major changes.
• The number of people who are actually working — earning wages to buy food, pay mortgages and stay alive — is down by nearly 10,000 compared to the 2006 peak.
• Demand is holding steady or rising at area agencies that serve the needy. The figures show that more people have jobs compared to 2009, but many still aren’t earning enough to make ends meet.
• An average worker in manufacturing used to make an average of $15.40 in 2007. In 2013, a worker in the same job sector made an average of $14.24. Annualized, that’s a dip from $32,040 to $29,630.
To access the rest of the this story click here.