Counties across northeast Indiana are dealing with historically high unemployment numbers, and one of the hardest hit in this region is Noble County, where the jobless rate for the month of April came in fourth highest for the entire state.
A 28.7% unemployment rate is far from a good thing, but there are some indications a rebound is underway. In April in Noble County, nearly three out of ten people in the workforce were laid-off. The numbers were high within the county, in large part, because of the heavy reliance on jobs in the manufacturing sector, which took a beating during the COVID-19 lockdown.
More than half the county's total payroll comes from manufacturing jobs such as Kraft Foods in Kendallville, which was busy as ever in April. However, other companies like No Sag Products and Creative Liquid Coatings were impacted by stay at home orders and had to temporarily furlough some staff. Some of those jobs have already come back.
In a survey of 30 Noble County manufacturers commissioned by the county's Economic Development Corporation, only 9 out of 2,000 laid-off positions were projected to be permanent.
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