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National Unemployment Rate Drops on Better Than Expected April Job Gains

by rgifford Fri, May 03 2013 17:05

The Department of Labor reported this morning that 165,000 jobs were added in April, beating forecasted expectations of 140,000 jobs for the month.  Private employers created the most jobs, with sequestration still hurting the government sector.  On the strength of this jobs report, the national unemployment rate for the month dropped from 7.6% to 7.5%.

SCILL Step-Up Welding Program Achieves Approved Provider Status with Indiana Department of Workforce Development

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 20:11

The Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning (SCILL) has received notification from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) that its Step-Up Welding Program has achieved Approved Provider Status with DWD.  DWD had previously granted the same status to the SCILL Beginning Welding Program which is just finishing its second 12-week class.  While the Beginning Welding Program is for those with no welding experience, the Step-Up Program is designed for those who have basic welding skills but are looking for American Welding Society (AWS) certification, or for those who wish to gain additional welding skills and/or become certified in one or more AWS classifications.

A program that has achieved this status makes students in that program eligible for WorkOne training dollars, if they meet the qualifications of WorkOne. For additional information on either program, contact SCILL at 574-772-8001.  SCILL was created by the Starke County Economic Development Foundation (SCEDF) in 1996 to assure that a qualified workforce was available to Starke County employers.

Northwest Indiana Economists Discuss Regional Economic Trends and Opportunities

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 18:56

A team of five economists discussed their findings about the Northwest Indiana economy and how that economy is recovering from the recent recession at an event held on the Valparaiso University campus on April 29, 2013.  The Northwest Indiana Forum coordinated this initiative which was first held about a year and a half ago.

Two key findings this year included the fact that the sum total of the region's output had increased 13.3% to $33.2 billion, but that employment in the region continues at recession levels and there are actually 6,700 less people working in the region than during the recession.  Other findings included that there has been an 11% increase in productive capacity, a 4.9% increase in private sector sales, and a 19% increase in the average value per employee added to products and services produced in the region since the recession.  The average compensation per job is about $48,200, which includes the value of employer-provided benefits.

Indiana Ranks High on "Best States to Make a Living" for 2013

by rgifford Tue, April 30 2013 16:48

MoneyRates.com recently issued its listing of the best and worst states to make a living for 2013.  This list combines average wage and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cost of living data from C2ER, state tax rate information from Tax-rates.com, and workplace environment rankings from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index poll to arrive at their rankings.

Indiana was ranked 15th on the best places listing, bettering neighboring states Michigan (#16), Ohio (#21), Illinois (#22), and Kentucky (#30).

National Unemployment Rate Drops Despite Weak Jobs Report for March

by rgifford Fri, April 05 2013 17:48

The Labor Department reported this morning that there was an increase of only 88,000 jobs in March, which compared unfavorably with the 268,000 jobs created in February.  Despite this news, the national unemployment rate actually decreased, from 7.7% in February to 7.6% in March.  That rate is obtained from a different survey than the jobs report, and most analysts say that the rate only went down because the number of people active in the labor force, either working or looking for work went down, and not because more unemployed people obtained jobs.  On the good news front, this did mark the 30th consecutive month that the United States economy added jobs.

Starke County Unemployment Rate Shows Modest Improvement in Febuary

by rgifford Fri, March 29 2013 19:29

The unemployment rate for Starke County is reported to be 12.3% for the month of February, according to figures released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).  This is a decrease from the 12.4% revised rate for the month of January, but still leaves the County at its highest rate of unemployment since the same month last year.

The State of Indiana saw an increase in its rate from 8.6% up to 8.7%, due to an increase in the labor force of 7500 individuals, of which 3800 were unemployed persons who have returned to looking for a job.  Indiana did record an increase of 5800 new jobs for the month.  Ohio at 8.0% and Kentucky at 7.9% have lower rates than Indiana, while Michigan at 8.8% and Illinois at 9.5% have higher rates.

The United States as a whole has an unemployment rate of 7.7%, down from 7.9% in January.

State and County Unemployment Rates Rise in January

by rgifford Mon, March 18 2013 22:43

The first monthly report on unemployment for 2013 was released this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD).  That report showed that the State of Indiana experienced an increase of .3% from the December report, as only 8,200 private jobs were added state-wide in January.  Although this marked the 19th consecutive month of job growth, the rate increased on the strength of 14,000 individuals being added to the labor force, of which more than 10,000 were returning unemployed persons now once again looking for work.  All 92 Indiana counties experienced a negative change in their own unemployment rate, which topped the previous month when 91 counties saw their rate increase from the previous month.

Starke County remained for the third consecutive month as the 6th highest Indiana county with regards to unemployment rate with a 1.7% increase, going from 10.8% in December to 12.5% in January.  For the County, the labor force increased by 162 persons, which just about matched the increase in the number of unemployed persons, which was 185.  The amount of employed persons in the County decreased by only 22 persons.

As far as neighboring states are concerned, Michigan at 8.9% and Illinois at 9.0% remained higher than Indiana, while Kentucky at 7.9% and Ohio at 7.0% are still lower than Indiana.

National Unemployment Rate Drops in February

by rgifford Fri, March 08 2013 18:17

The unemployment rate in the United States fell from 7.9% to 7.7% in February, according to a release this morning from the US Department of Labor.  This marks the lowest rate since December of 2008 and exceeded economists' estimates for the month.

A total of 236,000 jobs were added during the month, exceeding estimates of about 165,000 jobs.

The Indiana jobs report is not due out until March 29.

Former SCEDF President Gene Blastic Dies

by rgifford Mon, February 11 2013 17:07

Long-time Board member and former President of the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Joseph Eugene (Gene) Blastic passed away last Friday night after a battle with cancer.  Blastic had just been honored less than a month ago as the recipient of the Henry F. Schricker Award by the Starke County Chamber of Commerce for his "service before self" attitude and community service.

Blastic served as President of the Foundation for two years and was a member of the Board for 12 years. In addition to his service with the Foundation, Blastic also was active with Starke United, the Starke County Chamber of Commerce, Starke County Right to Life, and many other organizations.  He was nominated as a volunteer of the year for Starke United in 2003, and was also recognized as the Older Hoosier of the Year in 2009 by Community Services of Starke County for his service to improve the quality of life in Starke County.

Gene Blastic was a graduate of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked in Engineering & Management at Western Electric Company of the Bell System; and is a previous owner and President of a residential home construction company in the Detroit, Michigan area.

National Unemployment Rate Edges Up

by rgifford Fri, February 01 2013 17:12

The Labor Department released its jobs report for the month of January this morning.  Although American employers added 157,000 jobs during the month, which was about what economists had forecast, the national unemployment rate increased from 7.8% in December to 7.9% in January.  The Department also revised its December jobs number to 196,000 jobs.  Nationally there still remains 12.3 million idle workers.

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Creating Opportunities ... Delivering On Promises

"The first thing we have to do is prove we’re credible and then deliver results. We have done that. Give us a task and we’ll get the job done." Charles Weaver, Executive Director

Starke County location and logistics create opportunities:

  • A 90-minute drive to downtown Chicago
  • In the heart of Indiana, the "Crossroads of America"
  • Midway between the east coast and the Rocky Mountains
  • In the NAFTA Super Highway corridor
  • One day’s drive within one-third of the population of the United States
  • Excellent service from class-one and short line railroads

The Starke County Economic Development Foundation delivers on our promises to make your move here easier than you ever thought possible. We have:

  • Built and leased back spec buildings
  • Constructed lead track and rail spurs
  • Installed water tower, water mains, and sewer infrastructure
  • Upgraded highway interchanges
  • Continue to assemble land for development

The Foundation has built a reputation as the LEDO that partners with you to get the job done.

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