ELKHART — Even an unemployment rate among the lowest in the nation hasn't been enough to deter Amazon from building two distribution facilities here.

The larger of the two — a multi-story regional hub — already is springing out of the ground along the north side of the Indiana Toll Road between County Road 17 and County Road 19. The second is set to break ground later this year near the Elkhart Municipal Airport. 

And both — representing an investment of well over $200 million — will require about 1,000 employees when they start to come on line in 2023, competing against RV and boat-building companies that also have had a strong need for workers since the economy emerged from the pandemic-induced recession in 2020. 

Jobs on the way:Elkhart County wins more than $200 million in new Amazon projects, could create 1,000 jobs

With demand continuing strong for RVs and boats, employers have improved wages, benefits and even working conditions to get the employees they need. In February, Elkhart County’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate stood at 1.7%, compared to 2.7% for the state and 3.8% for the nation

“This is not a new phenomenon that we need employees,” said Chris Stager, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Elkhart County. “We’ve been averaging 1,900 new job announcements per year for the past 10 years.”

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