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Job growth, losses in targeted sectors both slow since depth of recession

March 13th, 2014

News Coverage:

Job growth, losses in targeted sectors both slow since depth of recession

News-Sentinel staff report

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 12:21 am

Job growth continued to outpace job losses in northeast Indiana last year, according to an annual report on business dynamics in the region.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership on Wednesday released the “Business Dynamics Report,” as it has for each year since 2008. The 2013 compilation showed 3,204 jobs added through new and expanding businesses, compared with 746 lost through closings, layoffs and downsizings.

The report, compiled each year by the Community Research Institute at IPFW, summarizes the gains and losses in major industries in 10 northeast Indiana counties.

There are some important limitations to the report, as it notes. Many jobs are lost or added at businesses without the fanfare of press releases or requests for tax abatements; such jobs aren’t included in these reports. It also doesn’t attempt to monitor every type of business; for example, it doesn’t track retail and hospitality businesses. Instead, it concentrates on targeted industries, “those that our region has some expertise, as well as the major employers, in order to provide a historical time series of the changes in our region,” the report said.

The targeted industries are defense, food and food processing, insurance, logistics and warehousing, medical devices and vehicle manufacturing, plus combinations of these targeted industries.

Since 2009, the worst year of the recession, the tracked job losses have dropped steadily, but so have the number of jobs added. The net effect, as the report notes, is that “the change in total payroll employment in (northeast Indiana) has stabilized the past three years.” Manufacturing powered much of the region’s rebound from the recession; as manufacturing growth slows, “it is not surprising to see our Business Dynamics increases also decelerate a bit,” the report said.