U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops Despite Poor Jobs Report

by rgifford Fri, February 07 2014 18:03

The unemployment rate for the United States dropped down to 6.6% for the month of January from the 6.7% rate for December.  The drop in rate came despite the fact that only 113,000 jobs were added during the month, further evidence of a number of people dropping out of the job market.  Economists had expected to see about 180,000 jobs added during the month.

Ports of Indiana Handle Large Increase of Tonnage in 2013

by rgifford Wed, January 29 2014 17:58

The Ports of Indiana handled 8.3 million tons of cargo at its three ports in 2013, an increase of 20 percent over 2012.  In addition, this was the third highest total in the 52 year history of the Ports, and the highest since 2006.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor recorded its highest annual tonnage since 2006 and second highest since 1998 by handling 2.5 million tons of cargo.  The 2013 shipments were 17 percent above the 2012 total and 23 percent over the previous five-year average.  That Port showed increases in shipments of steel, fertilizer, road salt, coal, and limestone.

Other Ports are located on the Ohio River at the Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville, and at the Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon.



State and County Unemployment Rates Dip to Lowest Rates Since Late 2008

by rgifford Tue, January 28 2014 21:00

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) issued its jobs report for the month of December earlier today. On the state level, the unemployment rate fell from 7.3% in November to 6.9% in December, the lowest it has been since October of 2008, when it was 6.8%. The December rate is also lower than any of the four contiguous states of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Illinois. Indiana's labor force increased by 6,000 in the month of December, and has grown by more than 21,000 over the past three months.

Starke County saw a decline of .5% in its unemployment rate for the month, going from 8.2% in November down to 7.7% in December. That December rate is the lowest recorded rate for the county since September of 2008, when it was 7.5%. Since January of 2013, the county's rate has fallen a full four percentage points, from 11.7% down to 7.7%.

INDOT Schedules Bid Letting on Starke County Projects

by rgifford Wed, January 15 2014 17:49

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has scheduled three projects in Starke County for bid lettings in the first two months of 2014.  The first two projects are scheduled to take bids on January 5, 2014. The first of those projects is for pipe lining along US 3 1.55 miles west of US 35 and also .21 miles east of SR 23 along US 30. The second project is for a small structure replacement on US 35 1.95 miles south of State Road 10. All of these projects are scheduled for completion in May of 2014.

The third project will receive bids on February 5, 2014 and is for traffic signal modernization, which will include three lights on US 35, at SR 8, Lake Street, and Henry Street.  That project has an August 30, 2014 completion date.



County Unemployment Rate Edges Up Slightly in November

by rgifford Fri, December 20 2013 19:35

The Starke County unemployment rate rose from 8.1% in October to 8.2% in November, a trend followed by 72 other Indiana counties during November. Only 15 counties in the state saw their rate drop, while another 4 counties experienced no change.  The Starke County rate is still well below the rate that was in place at the beginning of 2013.

Despite these numbers, the Indiana rate dropped from 7.5% in October to 7.3% in November on the strength of adding 25,300 private sector jobs, which was the largest one-month increase in Indiana on record. Manufacturing jobs added 4,800 of these new jobs. The Indiana rate makes it the lowest among all states that are contiguous to Indiana.

National Unemployment Rate Hits New Five Year Low

by rgifford Fri, December 06 2013 17:15

With the addition of 203,000 jobs in November, the U.S. unemployment rate has decreased to 7.0%, the lowest rate in the last five years.  Economic analysts had predicted an increase of about 185,000 jobs for the month.

Starke County Registers Lowest Unemployment Rate Since October of 2008

by rgifford Fri, November 22 2013 20:58

The October unemployment report issued this morning by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) listed Starke County with a rate of 8.1%, up slightly from September's rate of 8.0%. The October rate is the lowest rate recorded for the County since the 7.7% rate in October of 2008, the start of the great recession. Since January of this year, the county rate has fallen from 12.4% to 8.1%. In addition the labor force has risen from 10,195 to 10,419 in that same time period. The County recorded its fourth month in a row out of the top 10 counties with the highest rate of unemployment, and for the month, finished in 17th place out of 92 counties in Indiana.  That marks its best showing since June of 2007 when the county finished 19th.

Indiana also caught up with Ohio, as each recorded a rate of 7.5% for October, besting Michigan at 9.0%, Illinois at 8.9%, and Kentucky at 8.4%.  Indiana saw private sector employment grow by 6,600 jobs for the month, with manufacturing jobs leading the way.

National Unemployment Rate Rises During October

by rgifford Fri, November 08 2013 18:24

The US Department of Labor issued its October jobs report earlier this morning, finding that the unemployment rate nationally rose from 7.2% in September to 7.3% in October, due at least in part to the federal furlough which took place for the first three weeks of that month.  Despite that fact, 204,000 jobs were added in October, almost all of which came from private employers.  This was about twice as many jobs as economists thought might have been added that month.

The Starke County Youth Club Receives 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant

by rgifford Mon, November 04 2013 19:58

The Starke County Youth Club (SCYC), now in its 12th year of providing after-school activities to all three Starke County school corporations, has received  a 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant in the amount of $226,000 from the Indiana Department of Education to assist that organization in meeting the needs of Starke County youth.  SCYC utilizes research based curriculum, standards based lesson plans, interactive activities, plus homework and tutoring to help make student achievement possible.  SCYC sponsors both a school year after-school session as well as a summer session, and serves over 200 elementary students in the County.

This grant program has four broad goals, including increasing academic achievement, improving student behavior outcomes, increasing family involvement, and increasing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities.  The grant will be used to cover part of the cost of staff, supplies,and evaluation services, as well as curriculum and some transportation expenses.  SCYC was one of 75 agencies that applied for funding and was one of 24 projects selected for funding.  Grant monies are a component of No Child Left Behind and is a state formula grant intended specifically to assist students who attend high-poverty schools.

SCYC is continuing services that bridge the gap for students and families to build a brighter tomorrow, where their mutual goals can be reached.



Tax Foundation Continues to Rank Indiana Highly in State Business Tax Climate Index for 2014

by rgifford Thu, October 10 2013 19:33

The Washington D.C. based Tax Foundation has just released its 2014 annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which ranks from 1 (the best) to 50 (the worst) state tax systems in the United States.  The State of Indiana was ranked #10 in this year's index, up from #11 last year, which was the highest ranking for any Midwestern State.  The overall index is composed of five specific indexes devoted to major features of a state's tax system:  the state's major business tax, whether a corporate income tax or a gross receipts tax; the individual income tax; the general and selective sales taxes; the unemployment insurance tax; and asset-based taxes including property taxes.  Each state's laws were assessed as of July 1, 2013.

Other Midwestern states and their 2014 rankings are  follows:

Michigan was #14, down from last year's #12

Illinois was #31, down from last year's #29

Ohio was the same as last year at #39

Kentucky was #27, down from last year's 31

Indiana scored the best in the categories of Property Tax (#5) and Corporate Tax (#9).



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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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