Did you know that Clinton County has a 53 percent labor force participation rate? That means of the 32,609 people who live in our county, 17,141 are actively employed or looking for paid work, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s latest stats. The remaining 47 percent are residents who either do not want to work or can’t work, like students, homemakers, disabled residents, retirees, or others. (Compare that to the 66.2 percent labor participation rate across the state.)
Clinton County currently boasts a low unemployment rate: 4.1 percent, among the lowest in our region.
Despite the perception that Clinton County is a farming community, only about 220 people work in the “Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting” sector. So what kind of work do most people in Clinton County do? More than 75 percent of the wager earners in the county are employed in the top five sectors, in order from highest to lowest: Manufacturing; Federal, State, & Local Govt.; Healthcare and Social Assistance; Retail Trade; and Accommodation and Food Service.
Of course not everyone who lives in Clinton County works here. As many as 4,500 commuters head to work each morning in surrounding counties. A little more than half work in Tippecanoe County (55.3 percent), with about a quarter commuting to Boone County for employment (22.7 percent). Most of the others work in Marion, Hamilton, and Howard counties.
Likewise, not everyone who works in Clinton County lives here. Around 2,300 people come for work from surrounding counties, including Tippecanoe, Carroll, Boone, Howard, and Hamilton Counties.
As expected, 94 percent of Clinton County’s employees travel to work by car, truck, or van. Almost 4 percent arrive by motorcycle, bicycle, or foot, and another 2.3 percent work at home.
The numbers don’t tell the whole story, though, especially of the many Clinton County residents who commit endless hours to their families and community for which they hold no official title and receive no paycheck. This, too, is important work for our county and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Especially on Labor Day Weekend, when we set aside time to honor the many laborers — and all who work — to make our country, and our county, great.
Originally published at Clinton County Daily News on September 3, 2016.