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Poised for better performance?

While the pace of economic growth has been disappointingly slow, the most recent employment figures show that the Indiana economy is more than keeping up with the nation as a whole.

For June, the latest month for which state data are available, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Indiana stood at 6.0 percent, down from 6.2 percent the month before. In contrast, the June unemployment for the nation was 7.0 percent, up from the May rate of 6.8 percent. In nine of the 13 Indiana metro areas, job growth in June outpaced labor-force growth, resulting in lower rates of unemployment.

While the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in July, lowering the unemployment rate to 6.8 percent, the manufacturing sector recorded a loss of 13,000 workers. The cautious hiring practices of manufacturing firms has been a consistent problem throughout this recovery. Certainly, higher payroll tax rates and higher health-care costs have motivated firms to find alternatives to adding more full-time workers.

By most other indications, the economy appears to be poised for a better second-half performance. Now that the uncertainty surrounding the federal budget negotiations has finally lifted, we should see spending by businesses begin to pick up, bringing economic growth back up in the range experienced in the close of 1992.

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Title Annotation:Indiana's economic status
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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