As Indiana's unemployment rate increased one tenth to 8.3 percent in June, District 74 has shown some of the state's strongest employment numbers. Dubois County is honored to hold the lowest unemployment in the state at 5.5 percent. This is followed closely by Warrick County ranking fourth best at 6.5 percent and Spencer County ranking 13th at 7 percent. Perry County remains under the state and national average at 8.1 percent unemployment and in the top 50 percentile of all Indiana counties.
What is driving this "over-performance" of southwest Indiana? I can't tell you analytically, but I can tell you what I think. I was raised in Dubois County in a small business and owned my own consulting business in Warrick County. I believe our success resides in our strong local work ethic, which sees work as a noble cause.
I believe it is equally the commitment to provide for our families...even if that requires us to take a job(s) that is not perfectly suited to our skills. In addition, I believe it is our locally owned businesses that choose to keep their employees even as profits are slim as they value them as their most important asset. Further, these businesses understand their role is not just to make money, but to contribute to the success of the community and families in which they reside.
There is no question that much work remains to be done to ensure the economic viability of our rural communities as many businesses struggle to survive and we still face unacceptable levels of unemployment, underemployment and poverty. However, let's take a moment to celebrate this very positive accomplishment. So, take a bow, Dubois, Warrick, Spencer and Perry Counties for demonstrating that "get 'er done" attitude during tough economic times.
Next week I will outline an important new initiative focused on "plugging the brain drain" of our communities hosting a first ever Southern Indiana Rural Communities Summit on September 8.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your state representative. Be careful as you work and play outdoors during this heat wave. And, continued safe travels as you and your families enjoy late summer.
Rep. Sue Ellspermann (R-Ferdinand)