“The current unemployment rate is now lower than any of the annual forecasts for the state which I have estimated or seen, and a good sign that the longer term prospects for the state are optimistic,” he said. “There are warning signs though. Indiana also lost a sizable portion of its labor force in April. While I expect revisions to slightly change the overall national and state numbers, the overall picture won’t change. We are seeing signs of a national slowdown.”
Hicks points out that many European countries are facing an economic climate without comparable experience anywhere in the United States since the end of the Civil War.
“The continent as a whole is now in a recession – already deeper than forecast – and the worst is yet to come. It would be without historical precedence over the past 50 years for the U.S. to dodge a recession beginning in Europe. More than 2.3 percent of our nation’s GDP is exported to Europe. Combined with severe financial uncertainty, this implies a continent at risk for a significant downturn, which will impact the U.S.”
This month’s job creation numbers are worthy of celebration by Hoosiers, but for the nation as a whole a difficult year to 18 months await our economy, Hicks says.