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The Whole Truth: Set Down The Talking Points, Take A Look At The Big Picture

ListenIf you have the time, you should review the Indiana Institute for Working Families' latest 46-page report on the state of our state's economy.

From the conclusion:

"Indiana's economy has changed since the last recession. Manufacturing is no longer the leading industry sector. The labor force is more diverse. More jobs are requiring postsecondary education and training. Median wages and incomes are not keeping pace with the national levels. African Americans are experiencing even higher unemployment rates and lower wages. Workers who lack postsecondary education are also falling behind. The trends are going in the wrong direction in terms of poverty rates, wages, incomes and union membership. Taken together, it is apparent that the economic recovery has not reached all Hoosiers.

"The data underscore the importance of analyzing all aspects of the economy and not relying on one statistic as the sole indicator of economic health. The number of jobs alone does not give any information on the quality. The unemployment rate does not indicate how long people are unemployed, or how many may have become discouraged and dropped out of the labor force altogether. Median wages are also a poor indicator of economic well-being if taken out of context. Poverty rates only capture a portion of the families who struggle to meet basic needs. Additionally, not all demographic groups experience the same results. The full economic picture includes many moving parts."

The Guv loves to talk about our economic "hot streak" when he announces jobs that will be arriving months and years from now, but he never, ever talks about how we're doing right now. That's a problem, and you need only read this report -- or look at this site -- to see what's going on.

Average working Hoosiers are not okay, and until His Mitchiness takes off the rose-colored glasses and starts listening to the masses, he's going to keep coming across as woefully out-of-touch with folks who are struggling to do more with less.


The WARN notices that this web site often links to is really not that accurate of an indicator of the state of the economy, but an reflection of the marketplace at work. WARN notices, for the uninitiated, are a requirement of federal law of notification of mass layoffs of 50 employees or more. It does not take into account small business failures nor does it take into account any new job gains...

Yes, these are all unfortunate, but the overall economy is a little more dynamic and complex than these numbers.

In fact, if you want to get partisan about it, take a look at the total numbers of jobs lost via WARN notices (numbers provided from the DWD over the last seven years.) I'll leave it to the reader what to make of these numbers but my reading of these numbers are that the numbers of mass layoffs are down in recent years......can things really be getting better?

1998 13781
1999 13584
2000 13085
2001 29962
2002 18007
2003 24078
2004 11121
2005 8465
2006 11426
2007 5515 (to date)

No argument that the economy is more complex than WARN notices.

However, the Guv next-to-never acknowledges that there are jobs leaving the state; he prefers to pretend everything is fine and dandy.

That's what I have a problem with.

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