The Future of America’s Economy Looks a Lot Like Elkhart, Indiana

The capital of RV manufacturing, which once had the worst unemployment rate in the U.S., is now facing labor shortages and rising home prices and wages. The jobless rate in the Elkhart region plunged from 20% in March 2009, worst in the U.S., to just over 2% in January, half the national average. The local unemployment rate is actually closer to zero: some 9,500 jobs have no takers. The scarcity of workers has resulted in increased signing bonuses and perks for employees to join and stay at same companies for at least 90 days. This has also fueled inflation elsewhere, median home prices have risen about 6.5% annually over past two years.


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