Indiana Unemployment Rate Drops Thanks to Genesis Casket?
Indianapolis Indiana’s unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in two years. The latest numbers show the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, down .4 percent. The rate last year was 10.7 percent.
The change is even more dramatic in places like Columbus (two percent drop year-to-year). Kokomo (three percent) and Muncie (two percent).
As the numbers improve, more jobs are becoming available but more people are also competing.
An empty office might not seem like it would represent good news about unemployment, but Tony Colson, President and CEO of Genesis Casket Compnay, says good things are coming around the corner.
“By mid-year, our expectation is many of these cubicles will be occupied,” Colson said during a tour of his new office space in Indianapolis.
Last month, Colson announced that Genesis Casket would be moving in to the east side Indianapolis warehouse with plans to manufacture metal caskets and add roughly 150 jobs, which pay roughly $26 per hour.
“I wish I had more (jobs),” Colson said.
Since making the announcement, Genesis Casket has received more than 4,600 job applications for those 150 available jobs.
“The talent and skills that are available are abundant,” Colson said. “There are great people obviously looking for work and that’s encouraging.”
Though encouraging for businesses, the ratio of applicants to jobs, tells state leaders there’s still a lot of work left to do.
“It’s going to take us a while to get back to where we’d like to be,” said Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob.
Roob says private companies like Genesis Casket are by far the big success stories when it comes to job creation. Though the 9.1 percent unemployment rate basically mirrors the national average of 9 percent, since October 2009, private sector job growth in Indiana has outpaced the country two to one.
“Relative to other states we’re doing much better,” Roob said. “But that’s cold comfort to you if you’re one of those who doesn’t have a job.”
You don’t have to tell that to Antoine Williams.
“I’ve been out of work for like the last year and a half or so and it’s been like really hard,” Antoine said.
Last month Antoine was the first person to bring his resume to Genesis. Now he, like thousands of others, will have to wait until at least May before they’ll know if they are hired.
Tony promises those jobs will eventually come and says good things are coming around the corner, especially for that first applicant.
“The day of our announcement, a gentleman came to our front door named Antoine,” Colson said. “He had the initiative to come down and express interest in Genesis. We’d like to talk with him.”
Despite the promising economic numbers, the secretary of commerce says many people looking to get back into the job market will find that the needs of employers have changed. The best advice Roob can give to the unemployed right now is to focus on technical skills like math in order to stay competitive.
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