Report: More than 14,700 employed in Decatur County

GREENSBURG — Decatur County is now ranked 83rd among the 92 counties across the Hoosier State as it pertains to unemployment rates, according to numbers from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).

Essentially, only nine other counties are said to have a lower unemployment rate.

Last month, Decatur County had a reported 14,789 individuals employed, 427 unemployed and 15,216 participating in the labor force.

In July 2016, 14,294 were employed, 500 were unemployed and 14,784 were participating in the labor force.

Greensburg Decatur County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Marc Coplon spoke about what has changed here in the county in the span of one year. Coplon said he’s had discussions with local businesses over the course of the year, specifically plants here in Decatur County, which have given information suggesting that wages are improving on their end.

“The local, state, and national economies have continued their slow, but steady growth,” Coplon said. “As the numbers might suggest, more people are working. Therefore, the EDC is concentrating efforts to assist the needs of our community’s existing businesses and more employees are being paid higher wages.”

But where does the community go from here?

Last month, Coplon said that the EDC, along with the Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Greensburg, Decatur County Community Foundation, Greensburg-Decatur County Tourism, Mayor Manus, Greensburg City Council, Decatur County Government, and several other organizations are working together to hopefully submit a winning Stellar Communities application on Aug. 25

He also mentioned that the Stellar process to plan and develop community amenities have been suggested by more than 3,000 survey responses, adding that with more attractive amenities, including new mid-range housing, will likely keep current residents in Decatur County and bring new young families. Coplon also said that the type of population growth will be crucial for increasing per capita income and quality of life.

“For continued growth and prosperity, our community should focus on attracting more people,” Coplon said Wednesday. “We will do this by the success of our Stellar Communities program, development of amenities on Veteran’s Way, and encouragement of new and expanding small businesses.”

Decatur County has been at different levels throughout the year, but in recent months, the county has been among the top 10 lowest unemployment rates in the state. Coplon indicated that the county can reach that position of having the lowest unemployment rate in the state.

“Further diversification of our agribusiness and automotive manufacturing based local economy, along with success of attracting more people, will certainly continue to improve the community’s growth and prosperity,” said Coplon. “With attractive amenities, good roads, excellent schools, and high paying jobs we could certainly become the community with the lowest unemployment rate in Indiana.”

According to the DWD, Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.1 percent for July and remains lower than the national rate of 4.3 percent. The unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force.

The 3.1 percent unemployment rate for the state during for the month of July jumped slightly from June’s 3 percent.

The labor force decreased by 1,077 due to a decrease of 4,008 in employment and a 2,931 increase in unemployment. The labor force numbers are still greater than 3.33 million, and the labor force participation rate is at 64.3 percent.

“Indiana’s unemployment rate continues to be both at near-record lows and well below the national numbers,” said DWD Commissioner Steven J. Braun. “The recently-announced Next Level Jobs grant from the Governor will continue to support this momentum as its collaboration among employers and critical stakeholders will develop new talent and resources at the local level. This program and others designed to improve skills are an indication that the Hoosier work ethic is as strong as ever and will prevail amidst workforce challenges and opportunities.”

The August Indiana Employment Report will be released on Friday, Sept. 15, while the County, City and MSA Employment Report will be released on Sept. 18.


Source:  Greensburg Daily News