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LaGrange County growing in the right direction

The LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation has announced that per capita income levels are rising in LaGrange County, while the unemployment rate is continuing to go down.

According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2012 per capita income levels for LaGrange County were up 9.6 percent from 2011, narrowing the gap in per capita income (PCI) with the state and national averages. National growth in PCI was 3.4 percent, putting LaGrange County’s growth levels at almost three times the national average. Historically, average PCI in LaGrange County has been lower than state and national averages, with much of that gap as a result of a much larger than average household size. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 the U.S. average household size was 2.58 people per household, whereas the rate for LaGrange County was 3.17 people per household. Additionally, LaGrange County has a younger than average population which would typically not be contributing to the PCI. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2010 24 percent of the U.S. population was under the age of 18. In LaGrange County, the percentage jumps to 34.5 percent.

At the same time, unemployment in LaGrange County has been steadily dropping. According to data released by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, September unemployment rates for LaGrange County came in at 5.7 percent, with October up slightly at 5.9 percent. For comparison, the state of Indiana average for October was 7.0 percent. Additionally, the number of employed persons has been steadily rising for both. The September 5.7 percent unemployment rate for LaGrange County is the lowest since pre-recession levels in May 2008 of 5.5 percent.

All of this bodes well for LaGrange County. “We are thrilled that our community has continued to prosper coming out of the recession,” said Keith Gillenwater, president/CEO of the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC. “This is a testament to both the hard work ethic of LaGrange County employees and to the strength of our manufacturing base emerging out of the worst economic times most of us have ever faced.”

LaGrange County will be helped going forward, as the LCEDC has made a number of announcements this year with new job commitments, many of which are still being hired. “This is proof positive that LaGrange County is heading in the right direction,” Gillenwater stated.