updated: 8/19/2014 7:51:22 AM

Hicks: Hoosier Economy 'Picking Up Steam'

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

A Ball State University economist believes the July employment report suggests "healthy" months to come for Indiana. The state picked up close to 10,000 private sector jobs, which helped keep the unemployment rate even at 5.9 percent. Michael Hicks believes an increase in manufacturing jobs continues to be a driving force behind Indiana's "remarkable" performance.

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August 18, 2014

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. - Ball State economist Michael Hicks says Indiana's economy is picking up steam as nearly 5,500 manufacturing jobs were added last month.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported today that unemployment for July was at 5.9 percent, the same as the previous month. The nation's unemployment rate is 6.2 percent. Indiana added nearly 10,000 private sector jobs.

"Despite a national slowdown in new car sales, the manufacturing spike accounted for more than half all the new jobs created in the state," says Hicks, director of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER). "That suggests the coming months are likely to be healthy as employment in manufacturing will increase local demand for services and construction.

"Indiana's economy has seen several months of a great one-two punch of strong job growth in high-paying sectors and a steady growth in the labor supply. The state continues to perform remarkably, and this is the sort of employment growth that should begin to slow the income gap between Hoosiers and the nation as a whole."

However, Hicks pointed out uncertainties in the months ahead.

"When the final numbers are in, it is likely the U.S. will not have seen GDP growth on a per capita basis throughout the first half of the year. It will take a remarkable two quarters for the nation to see even 2 percent growth at a time when several major trading partners in Europe and Asia are in or dangerously near a recession. And with state tax revenues continuing to disappoint, we cannot be too overjoyed."

Source: Ball State University

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