Kosciusko County, Ind., the home of a number of Grace Brethren ministries and churches, was featured yesterday in the business section of the Washington Post. The article discusses the low unemployment in the area and the number of jobs that are available. A portion of the article appears below. Click here for the complete story.
In this part of the Midwest, the problem isn’t China. It’s too many jobs.
WARSAW, Ind. — Each day at Zimmer Biomet headquarters, machinists on one robot-assisted factory floor churn out about 3,000 metallic knee parts. They are facing pressure to crank up the pace as the population ages and demand soars.
But the artificial-bone giant is grappling with a steep downside of the nation’s low unemployment rate: It is struggling to find enough workers, despite offering some of the region’s best pay and benefits. Forty positions sit open.
Other manufacturers in Kosciusko County, home to roughly one-third of global orthopedic device production, are running into the same problem.
The lack of laborers not only threatens to stunt the growth of these companies, experts warn, but it could also force them to decamp their home town in search of workers.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at a 16-year low of 4.3 percent, employers across the country are dealing with a dearth of potential hires. Economists say that talent shortages are growing constraints on the country’s economic expansion, especially as millions of baby boomers enter retirement.
But the shortage is particularly problematic in places such as Kosciusko County, where the unemployment rate rests at 2 percent. Of the county’s 41,136 adults who can work, 40,311 are employed, according to government statistics.
This region — a land of clear lakes, duck farms and medical device makers — escaped the industrial decline that rocked other communities throughout the Rust Belt.
Click here for the complete story.