Business analysts say while the economy is picking up, it’s going to take time. That was the message Thursday at a business outlook panel held on the Indiana University campus, as well as the expectation for the coming year.
Four economists spoke at the business panel about global, state and local economy. Kelly School of Business Lecturer Fred Schlegel says job growth is accelerating and Indiana is well positioned for recovery.
“For the past three years we’ve had growth in manufacturing jobs in Indiana,” says Schlegel. “That’s about 50,000 jobs or almost one-third of the job growth that we’ve had over the past three years. That’s the first time we’ve had three years back-to-back job growth in Indiana since 1999.”
Indiana Business Research Center Director Jerry Conover says residential construction in Bloomington has declined but he’s optimistic about the future.
“The national markets took a dive, people stopped buying houses and there were plenty already built when that happened several years ago,” he says. “Since then we’re down to about 25% of the level we had before the recession in terms of the home building, but it looks like we’ve leveled off at that point.”
Conover says he expects permits for new construction this year could return to levels that haven’t been seen since 2008. In terms of the unemployment rate – it is expected to continue to drop and could be down to nearly seven percent by the end of next year.