As construction progresses on the Amazon fulfillment center in Elkhart (Indiana), workforce officials try to find out how to employ 1,000 workers in a county where the unemployment rate is below two percent.
According to a report, the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that Elkhart County’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate stood at 1.7%, compared to 2.7% for the state and 3.8% for the nation.
Amazon competes for workers in northern Indiana’s massive recreation vehicle industry, allowing more than 35,000 individuals.
Amazon represents an investment of more than $200 million, which will need around 1,000 workers as they begin operations in 2023, competing with the boat and RV building companies that have also had an urgent need for workers since the economy emerged from the pandemic-induced recession in 2020.
With the continuing solid demand for boats and RVs, employers have increased pay, improved benefits, and working conditions to attract the workers they need.
“This is not a new phenomenon that we need employees,” said Chris Stager, president, and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County. “We’ve been averaging 1,900 new job announcements per year for the past ten years.”
Stager claims that RV makers attract people from six counties within a 60-mile range of Elkhart.
This story originally appeared on South Bend Tribune.