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November 16, 2012

SUNSHINE AND RAIN: Business outlook has ups and downs

(Continued)

NEW ALBANY — INDIANA AND BEYOND

Statewide, jobs have been increasing about 50,000 a year, another panelist said. Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center at the Kelley School of Business, said the state lost about 200,000 jobs in the recession and has since recovered about 150,000 of them.

“We haven’t seen that kind of growth in Indiana in employment since the late ’90s when employment was really booming,” Conover said. “And that’s certainly welcome relief from years when we were doing well to add 10,000 jobs the whole year.”

Nationally, another panelist said unemployment is declining but still at near 8 percent, which he said is more than normal.

Kyle Anderson, an assistant professor of business and economics at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Indianapolis, said he thinks about 2 million jobs will be added to the work force in 2013 keeping the unemployment rate around 7 percent. But the big looming question is whether Washington will resolve the fiscal cliff coming up or not.

“Politicians seem to be pretty good at putting off immediate pain and pushing our problems down the road, which is essentially what we’re asking them to do here,” Anderson said. “And as much as it sounds good to push our problems off down the road, we’re going to come to a time where we need to have more tax revenue and less government spending to bring down the deficit.

“However, we’d like to do that when we have strong economic growth and low unemployment because it is going to put a damper on the growth of the economy.”

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