Legislators: Positive Jobs Report Eases Budget Worries

Indiana's economy appears to be improving, based on the latest jobs report, and that could foreshadow higher state revenues for next year.

House Taking Oath

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Members of the Indiana House of Representatives takes their oaths of office on Nov. 20, 2012.

Legislative fiscal leaders say Tuesday’s positive jobs report will help make writing the new budget more comfortable, but they also continue to preach caution.

Indiana’s private sector added 7,700 jobs last month while the unemployment rate dropped to 8 percent. But Senate Appropriations chair Luke Kenley says the overall economy continues to struggle and state revenue growth will likely remain below where he would like it to be.

“It’s incumbent on government to continue to look for ways to provide more and better services at really lower costs where we can, so it’s going to be a challenge this year,” he says.

New House Ways and Means chair Tim Brown says he will look to see how the jobs numbers impact the upcoming revenue forecasts.

“You have to feel better and positive about things going up,” he says. “We certainly hope that this continues into the next quarter, the first quarter of the fiscal year and we’ll see how that looks with our revenue forecasts.”

Brown says the revenue forecasts will play a major role in helping him determine how cautious the state must be in its next budget.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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