Some people are heading back to work in hard hit Elkhart County – often in different jobs than they had before, and sometimes at a lower pay. According to a South Bend Tribune article, hope is on the rise in the area’s recreational vehicle (RV) industry as well as other industries.
The unemployment rate here, driven by job cuts at factories that made Elkhart County the capital of recreational vehicle manufacturing, spiked in March to 18.9 percent. But it has fallen steadily since, reaching 14.5 percent in November while the national rate climbed to 10 percent.
Part of the drop in unemployment may be due to hiring at a handful of RV makers like Heartland RV in Elkhart, which recently held a job fair after announcing it would add 400 jobs by March. For jobless workers who have spent months scrimping to keep up with mortgages, the job fair was a welcome first step in returning to the life they used to know.
Other RV makers also have begun hiring, albeit slowly, as orders from dealers have picked up in the past few months. Dealers don’t generally discuss sales figures, but two economists who follow the industry have predicted a slight rebound in production for 2010.
Read the rest of the South Bend Tribune article.