At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Monroe County councilors got a briefing from local economic experts on their outlook for the coming year.
The presentation came from Carol Rogers, who’s co-director of the Indiana Business Research Center at IUPUI, and Jennifer Pearl, who’s president of the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation.
The current jobs growth and unemployment news is bad in Monroe County, as it is in the rest of the state.
Rogers told county councilors the local labor force numbers have slipped. The labor force figure of 69,205 in December 2020 is down 2.5 percent compared to December 2019, she said.
Out of that labor force of 69,205, in late 2020, 2,315 people were unemployed in Monroe County. That made for a 3.3-percent unemployment rate. It’s 25 percent higher than last year, Rogers said. “We’re in one of the highest unemployment scenarios that we’ve been in the county since the Great Recession,” Rogers said.
One statistic that Rogers said she’ll be tracking as a possible driver of economic recovery is the rate of COVID-19 vaccinations.
Rogers said, “As more and more people become vaccinated, as the spread [of COVID-19] is reduced and hopefully potentially eliminated, [we hope] we’ll see [weekly unemployment] claims get down to the hundreds instead of well over 1,000.”
“The ability for [Indiana University] to constrain the virus spreading among the student population is going to have an effect on that.” Rogers said. Continue reading “Local business experts say Monroe County jobs numbers took “big hit” from pandemic, but vaccinations could give economy a shot in the arm”