Anderson Forecast 2013
Director of Research, Center for Business and Economic Research, Ball State University
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Fall School of Business, Anderson University
Thus far, the available data for 2012 show a mixed picture for the Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The unemployment rate in the Anderson MSA (Madison County) decreased by more than a percentage point during 2012, but still remains above the state’s rate. While the labor force decreased, the number of jobs in the MSA increased but still continues to be substantially lower than at the beginning of the recession. There have been nine announcements so far this year of employers planning to come to the area, totaling 1,067 potential jobs. Hoosier Park Casino is facing increased competition as Ohio casinos open for business. Average weekly wages increased in most industry sectors but still lag the state. The housing market appears to have stabilized and the sales of existing homes have increased as has the average home price. Unfortunately, more people are receiving food stamps and city schools continue to lose students.
This article includes the most current data available at the time of writing on various measures of economic activity from public sources for the Anderson MSA. The goal is to analyze changes over the past year. A summary of the labor market forecast for the Anderson area is included in the conclusion.
In Madison County, the unemployment rate has decreased over the past year (see Table 1). The preliminary unemployment rate for September 2012 is 9.0 percent, down from 10.1 percent a year earlier. The unemployment rate is consistently higher than the state unemployment rate (7.5 percent, not seasonally adjusted). The number of unemployed workers in Madison County has decreased by more than 1,100 over the course of the year, and the labor force has decreased by about 700 workers leading to the decreasing unemployment rate and suggesting that frustrated job seekers are continuing to drop out of the labor market or migrate out of the area (or both). Additionally, almost 11 percent of those working within the county live elsewhere and travel here only for employment.
Table 1: Labor Force and Unemployment for Madison County, September 2011 to September 2012
|Year||Month||Labor Force||Unemployed||Unemployment Rate|
*September 2012 data are preliminary.
Note: Data are not seasonally adjusted.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
A look at the Current Employment Statistics shows variation in employment gains and losses in 2012. Total nonfarm jobs in Madison County averaged 39,890 for the first three quarters of 2012. This is the first increase in nonfarm employment since the recession, yet still represents a decrease of about 1,400 jobs since the beginning of the recession. Professional and business services was the sector with the largest job growth (adding more than 200 jobs). The sector with the largest job losses was trade, transportation and utilities (see Table 2).
Table 2: Anderson Metro Employment by Industry, Year-to-Date 2011 to 2012
|Industry||2012||Change since 2011||Percent Change 2011–2012|
|Trade, Transportation and Utilities||8,200||-100||-1.2%|
|Professional and Business Services||3,544||233||7.0%|
|Private Educational and Health Services||7,900||22||0.3%|
|Leisure and Hospitality||5,422||33||0.6%|
Note: Year-to-date reflects January to September for each year. September 2012 data are preliminary.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Indiana Department of Workforce Development
This marks the second year of net increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, but these are small increases relative to the thousands of manufacturing jobs lost over the past four decades. The Anderson MSA began the millennium with 10,500 manufacturing jobs and currently has around 3,800 (as of September 2012). The peak for manufacturing employment was around 30,000 jobs in the early 1970s.
Average wages increased to $660 per week during the first quarter of 2012 (the most recent data available) and continue to be lower than the state average of $821 for the same period. Table 3 shows average weekly wages (not adjusted for inflation) for the first quarters of 2011 and 2012. Most sectors experienced increases in wages. The sectors with the strongest wage growth were arts, entertainment and recreation (22.3 percent), finance and insurance (12.8 percent), and professional, scientific, and technical services (12.5 percent). Sectors that experienced declines in wages include construction and information. The inflation rate between the first quarter of 2011 and 2012 was 2.8 percent, so workers in most sectors experienced real wage growth over this period.1
Table 3: Average Weekly Wages in the Anderson MSA, 2011 Q1 to 2012 Q1
|Industry||2011 Q1||2012 Q1||Percent Change|
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation||$422||$516||22.3%|
|Finance and Insurance||$798||$900||12.8%|
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services||$608||$684||12.5%|
|Accommodation and Food Services||$213||$239||12.2%|
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services||$408||$447||9.6%|
|Transportation and Warehousing||$722||$768||6.4%|
|Other Services (Except Public Administration)||$373||$389||4.3%|
|Real Estate and Rental and Leasing||$467||$474||1.5%|
|Health Care and Social Services||$678||$686||1.2%|
|Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting||$615||$615||0.0%|
Note: The authors feel the reported average weekly wages for management of companies and enterprises is inaccurate and therefore excluded it from this table.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Indiana Department of Workforce Development
The housing market showed signs of stabilizing in Madison County. Residential construction as measured by new single-and multi-family housing units was similar to 2011 but still substantially lower than the number of permits issued in the mid-2000s (see Table 4). Sales of existing homes increased to more than 950 units (a 21 percent increase). The average price of homes sold also increased to more than $86,500—a 4.5 percent nominal increase relative to the same period last year (see Table 5).
Table 4: Madison County Residential Building Permits, Year-to-Date 2001 to 2012
Note: Each year is based on January through September totals.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table 5: Madison County Residential Real Estate Sales, Year-to-Date 2004 to 2012
|Year||Closed Sales||Average Sale Price|
Note: Year-to-date reflects January to September for all years.
Source: Metro Indianapolis Board of Realtors
Social Safety Net
Changes in the number of food stamp recipients and the dollar amount of food stamp payments are one indicator of economic distress in a community. The number of food stamp recipients and the corresponding amount of food stamps issued continued to increase during 2012 in Madison County but at a slower rate than the previous year (see Table 6). The average number of monthly food stamp recipients increased 4.4 percent to more than 22,000 individuals (about 17 percent of the population in the county) during the January to October time period. The dollar amount distributed in food stamps increased by more than 4 percent to exceed $2.9 million. This increase reflects the state of the economy in east-central Indiana during the slow recovery from the recession.
Table 6: Food Stamp Recipients in Madison County, January to October Averages, 2004 to 2012
|Year||Average Monthly Food Stamps Issued||Average Monthly Food Stamp Recipients|
Note: Dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation.
Source: STATS Indiana, using FSSA data
The city schools have been losing students for a number of years and the trend shows little sign of reversing. A significant portion of that loss in students is attributable to families responding to the weak performance of the city’s schools by using the tuition transfers to send their children elsewhere. As better-performing students leave the schools, it creates a spiral in which those very schools continue to suffer and perform poorly, in part because of the aptitudes of students they are left with. After graduation, more than 57 percent of high school graduates go on to a four-year school, yet only 16.6 percent of area residents have a four-year degree. Clearly, this is symptomatic of a brain drain in which educated residents are leaving the community.
May 2012 marked the fourth full year of operation at Hoosier Park Casino. After declining between 2009 and 2010, the winnings generated at Hoosier Park increased over the past couple of years. Winnings increased 2.6 percent to $222.5 million and $55.3 million in wagering tax revenues generated from these winnings (see Table 7). As in the previous year, for fiscal year 2012 Hoosier Park ranked sixth of the 13 Indiana casinos in terms of total winnings. In November 2009, Ohio voters approved a ballot initiative to allow casinos in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo. The new casinos opened in Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus earlier this year along with a “racino” in Columbus. A casino is scheduled to open in Cincinnati during the spring of 2013. These casinos are likely to draw patrons from Indiana casinos and negatively affect wagering tax revenue.
Table 7: Hoosier Park Casino Win and Wagering Tax Totals, FY 2008 to FY 2012
|Year||Win||Percent Change||Wagering Tax||Percent Change|
Source: Indiana Gaming Commission
A large portion of the Flagship Enterprise Center’s 193,200 square feet was occupied by Bright Automotive, a hybrid-vehicle firm founded in 2008. In February 2012, the company—which had plans to build a manufacturing site and produce 50,000 vehicles a year with up to 1,000 workers—folded.
Extrapolating on the numbers and trends presented, the following outlook focuses on the three key areas of employment, education and housing.
Unemployment will continue to be a drain on the local economy for several years. There is a considerable lag and disparity between job announcements and actual payrolls. Manufacturing—one area that showed promise in the state last year and early this year—has sputtered and stalled once more. In Madison County, 72.4 percent of all firms employ less than 10 employees (86.6 percent have less than 20), so it is imperative that entrepreneurship and small business ownership be nurtured; however, Indiana received a “C” and “D” in a recent Kauffman Thumbtack Small Business Survey in the categories of promoting training and networking programs, respectively. The Indianapolis region (the survey did not hone in on smaller cities) was ranked “C” and “F” in those two areas. Replicating the study, Grant County—our neighbor to the north—found that only 18.3 percent of area business owners identified the economy as the biggest challenge to starting a business, while 30 percent said it was support. This is an area where Anderson could shine and differentiate itself from its neighbors, but it would take a coordinated effort on the part of all the parties that business owners must deal with.
A properly educated workforce is necessary to attract high value-added jobs. There is much work to do in this area, but it is encouraging to see the work being done by the Madison County Education Coalition. With a strategic goal of developing a stronger linkage between economic development and education initiatives, this organization has accomplished much in a short period of time. One solution to the brain drain that others in the area (particularly the Grant County Economic Growth Council)are using is “forgivable loans” that reduce the amount of money graduates must pay back if they stay within the area.
It cannot be disputed that we have bottomed out in construction—the number of permits being issued in Madison County has stabilized but is still low compared to pre-recession numbers. The bad news is that the lack of new construction does not mean that the number of existing homes could not still represent a surplus—a condition leading to declining values—if the number of homes desired in the county lessens.
The official numbers show some small improvements over the economic situation in Anderson last year in some areas. In the coming year, we expect employment growth to be flat and small gains in income (in the 2 percent range) as the economy continues its slow recovery.2
Also in this Issue…
- Outlook for 2012
- International Outlook for 2012
- U.S. Outlook for 2012
- Financial Outlook for 2012
- Indiana's Outlook for 2012
- Indiana's Agricultural Outlook for 2012
- Anderson Forecast 2012
- Bloomington Forecast 2012
- Columbus Forecast 2012
- Evansville Forecast 2012
- Fort Wayne Forecast 2012
- Gary Forecast 2012
- Indianapolis-Carmel Forecast 2012
- Lafayette Forecast 2012
- Louisville Forecast 2012
- Muncie Forecast 2012
- Richmond Forecast 2012
- South Bend and Elkhart Area Forecast 2012
- Terre Haute Forecast 2012