Elkhart County, Indiana, suffered the largest decrease in weekly average wages in the nation from March 2018 to March 2019, according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, August 21, and reported by the Elkhart Truth. More than 80 percent of all RVs made in America are made in Elkhart.
In that period, average weekly wages in Elkhart County decreased by 7.6 percent, from just above $1,000 to $930 per week. The country as a whole saw an increase of 2.8 percent.
Manufacturing employees in Elkhart County took the brunt of the decline, with a decrease in wages of 12.7 percent — about $137 per week.
After the Great Recession a decade ago, which led to a 20 percent unemployment rate in Elkhart in 2009, local politicians spoke often about diversifying the economy, but the RV industry continues to dominate.
This year’s RV shipments are down about 20 percent from last year, with 2018 being down more than 4 percent from the year before, which set a record high.