TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state’s unemployment rate is now down to 5.9 percent, it’s lowest point since July of 2008.
Indiana’s biggest jobs gains come in manufacturing, especially jobs related to the auto industry. There’s been a lot of talk at the statehouse about how recent policies and legislation have made Indiana more business friendly.
Indiana State University economist, Robert Guell, said the results we see today don’t come from recent policies but rather from years of sound decision-making.
“The consistent work across both parties and across multiple governors. That is essentially where Indiana is,’ said Guell.
Knox and Daviess counties rank in the bottom four in the state with rates below 5%. Greene, Clay, Parke and Sullivan are in the top 25, but have rates below 8%. Vigo County is 8th with 8.1%. Vermillion County has the highest unemployment in the state at nearly 10%.
“The things we thought we struck gold with have not turned out quite as golden as we thought they would be,” said Guell.
Guell says part Vigo County’s manufacturing is tied to housing, which has hurt. Certainteed closed its plant, and Boral Brick is underutilized. And then there’s Sony DADC, whose blu-ray disc won the movie disc war, but rapidly declining sales forced layoffs with more possible.
Casey’s General Stores plans to open a distribution center in Vigo County. This will create at least 150 new jobs. Local leaders hope this announcement will lead to further economic development in the area.