Hicks: Jobs Report Suggests 'Unsettling Trends'

Posted: Updated:
Hicks says the numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market." Hicks says the numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market."

Ball State University economist Michael Hicks says, despite the national February employment report being better than expected, it also shows some negative trends continue to "haunt the economy." Hicks says most of the 242,000 newly-created jobs last month were in lower-paying fields.

The good news, Hicks says, is that the economy has recorded positive job growth for a record 65 months in a row. However, he says wage growth was negative in February and weekly hours worked declined. Hicks says those numbers "signal a more static, rather than optimistic, labor market."

The U.S. Department of Labor says the 242,000 net jobs gained in February kept the unemployment rate at 4.9 percent. It also revised its December and January numbers, adding a total of 30,000 additional jobs.

Indiana's latest employment report showed the state's jobless rate remained at 4.4 percent in December, which remains the lowest level in more than a decade. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the rate has decreased by 1.5 percent over the last year.

  • Perspectives

    • We’re Having the Wrong Conversations About Safety

      Every time there’s a shooting at a school or a workplace, the arguments begin. We need more police officers stationed in the buildings. We need to arm teachers or encourage employees to carry handguns. We should invest in smokescreen systems or bulletproof partitions. Everyone should hide from the shooter. Everyone should run from the shooter. Everyone should confront the shooter. It’s healthy that we’re discussing safety, but unfortunately, we’re talking...



  • Most Popular Stories

    • West Lafayette Center Breaks Ground

      West Lafayette city officials this week broke ground on the $31.5 million West Lafayette Wellness and Aquatic Center at Cumberland Park. Plans for the 72,000-square-foot project feature a natatorium, three gymnasiums, exercise machines, free weights and community rooms. 

    • Forbes Ranks Top Colleges; 3 Indiana Schools Make the Cut

      Forbes released its 12th annual ranking of America’s Top Colleges based on direct benefits a university or college provides its students. Several Indiana universities made the list in some “sub-categories”, like Grateful Graduates Index, but the University of Notre Dame was the only school in the state to break the top 20 overall rankings.

    • (courtesy: Frank Logan/Military Vehicle Preservation Assoc.)

      Historic Military Convoy to Cross Indiana

      A sentinel moment of U.S. history is playing out Sunday in South Bend when the recreation of the U.S. Army Transcontinental Military Convoy rolls into town. Approximately 70 historic military vehicles are retracing the original 1919 cross country trip which traveled along the famed Lincoln Highway.

    • Photo courtesy of Crestwood Village

      Justus Rental Properties Details Closures

      Indianapolis-based Justus Rental Properties, Inc. has announced it will be closing its assisted living service line at Crestwood Village West and Crestwood Village East. The company is also is in the process of selling the both communities.

    • (photo courtesy of the Marshall County EDC)

      Wire and Cable Startup to Set Up Shop in Argos

      A startup wire and cable company has announced plans to launch operations in Marshall County. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. says Sequel Wire and Cable LLC will invest $53 million to purchase and equip the 50,000-square-foot Argos Manufacturing Center and create 120 jobs by the end of 2024. The company plans to expand the facility to more than 162,000 square feet and begin operations in early 2020. The $2.7 million Argos Manufacturing Center was built in part with...