FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Northeast Indiana is following the trend of the State with lower unemployment rates for the month of August.
Director of the Community Research Institute at Purdue University Fort Wayne Rachel Blakeman says the rebound from double-digit unemployment numbers back in March to where we are now is impressive and the number of jobs available looks like it did pre-pandemic.
"Back in January and February, our employers were looking for new employees, and so in many ways, we may be back to where we were in some measure, at least by jobs," Blakeman said.
While Allen County unemployment is slightly above the statewide 6.5% rate, sitting at 6.7%, five counties in the area, Adams, LaGrange, Steuben, Wells, and Whitley are considered to be at full employment, with unemployment rates under 5%.
The job market in these counties all have one thing in common, according to Blakeman. She said, "In these outlying, rural counties, there tends to be a lot of plants or other manufacturing for them and so those workers have had the opportunity to go back to work."
In Adams County where they’re considered fully employed, some companies are not only bringing back employees, they’re hiring new ones.
Last week, REV recreation group held a job fair, for up to 100 new jobs to keep up with demand.
Human Resources Manager Pam Rosswurm says they weren’t just impressed with the number of people who showed up, but the quality as well.
"It’s exciting, Rosswurm said. "It’s exciting to see there’s a lot of people still looking for jobs that have a skill set that will fit our need. It’s pretty exciting."
Blakeman says while it's not the best indicator of a rebounding economy, the amount of now hiring signs across the region is a good sign of a turnaround.
"You don’t bring employees back if you don’t have confidence in where the economy is going."