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Unemployment falls across northeast Indiana

Allen County's unemployment rate for December 2017 was 2.8 percent, that's in the middle for our region.

Posted: Jan 24, 2018 9:35 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 8:59 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has released the regional unemployment rate.

Allen County's unemployment rate for December 2017 was 2.8 percent.

The county with the highest unemployment is Blackford with 3.5 percent.

LaGrange has the lowest, with only 2 percent unemployed.

But, this means it's harder for companies to grow across northeast Indiana.

"It's exciting, but it does bring some concern," said Gary Allen, owner of Windsor Homes. "It's obviously good for the economy. It means we are doing something right."

Allen is having a hard time finding the employees he needs.

"Some of them went out of business and went into a factory type situation and haven't come back to the trades industry," Allen said.

However, the trades aren't the only industries still looking for workers.

Northeast Indiana Works says healthcare and manufacturing are also struggling to fill positions.

"It puts a lot of pressure on the region to attract and retain talent. That would include college graduates who might be thinking about going elsewhere," said Northeast Indiana Works spokesman Rick Farrant.

Farrant said he encourages companies looking to fill hundreds of positions to start looking at different types of people.

"They start looking at underutilized talent pools. Folks such as those who are disabled, those who are coming out of incarceration," said Farrant.

That's something Lowe's might consider.

The home improvement chain announced Wednesday that it is looking for 1700 workers across Indiana this spring.

"I think jobs like that will probably be filled by young high school or college graduates. I think that's good news for the youth in our society," Allen said.

Four Fort Wayne area stores plan to host hiring events on March 8 from 4-8 p.m., March 9 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and March 10 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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