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The State Of Employment In Indiana – Looking Forward To A New Year!

Carl Rugenstein, Manager of Finance & HR

Often the media seems to thrive on reporting bad news.  Unfortunately in the case of 2011 employment, they seem pretty close to the mark.  Indiana, and for that matter much of the rest of the United States, saw a reversal of the positive gains in employment during 2010.  2011 job growth has been essentially stagnant versus a gain of about 20,000 jobs created in 2010.  To put these numbers in perspective though, consider that prior to 2010 Indiana lost nearly 200,000 jobs since the recession “officially” began in 2007.  All these numbers beg the questions “are we headed back down” or is it the dreaded “double dip”?   Perhaps, but, of course those questions can only be answered by time.

The one inescapable conclusion is that in Indiana and the rest of the country, the employment reality in which we have lived has changed drastically.  This certainly comes as no big surprise to anyone that has been job seeking during the last four years.  It’s also no great revelation that manufacturing is not a comfortable sector in which to be employed and Indiana still depends heavily on manufacturing.   All of these factors seem to indicate we are still in for some very tough times.

I’d like to be able to end this by saying we are through the worst of it and things will get back to “normal” fairly soon.  The truth I fear is quite different.  In the end, what matters is what people do with this new reality?  Most Hoosiers must and will adapt.  As is always the case in this country, the most creative and innovative will succeed and prosper.  What however is to become of those that are not quite as creative or as innovative?  I suppose that’s a subject for a future blog.

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