Business news

courtesy GE

Indiana manufacturers are increasingly concerned about the state of the economy.

The 2015 Indiana Manufacturing Survey finds many Indiana manufacturers believe the post-recession recovery is over.

Almost two-thirds also say the U.S. isn't likely to ever lead the world on the manufacturing front ever again.

Almost nine-in-ten feel the federal government isn't doing enough to support the manufacturing sector and one in four think neither the federal or state government are helping.

Rolls-Royce To Spend $600M Updating Indy Plant

Oct 5, 2015
the.urbanophile /

Rolls-Royce North America has announced a new $600 million investment project in Indiana.

President and CEO Marion Blakey says the aerospace industry leader will spend years modernizing its manufacturing operations on Indianapolis’ southwest side.

“I think it’s going to be over the next four or five years to get it done,” Blakey says. “It takes a while to rebuild, especially because you’ve got to keep the production lines going and continue to make engines all while this is going on.”

An Aging Indiana Workforce's Effect On Brain Drain

Oct 5, 2015
John Lamb /

The number of mature workers is on the rise in Indiana.

Nationally, there are more than 3.4 million workers over the age of 70. That number has doubled since the late 1990s. The latest figures also show that 2.3-percent of the current U.S. workforce is now 70 or older.

Orion Bell is CEO of Indianapolis-based CICOA Aging and In Home Solutions. He says people over the age of 60 in Central Indiana currently contribute $2.1 billion in paid employment each year. Such figures are expected to rise as Americans live longer and Baby Boomers age.

Clyde Robinson /

The nation's unemployment rate held steady at 5.1-percent in September. But two top Indiana economists aren’t pleased with that trend.

Ball State Economist Mike Hicks says the economy added only 142,000 jobs last month. He says that's definitive evidence the economy is slowing.

Hicks says employment is only slightly ahead of expected population growth and that 300,000 people left the labor force. In short, he says twice as many workers quit looking for work last month compared to those who found jobs.

Hicks says he’s concerned about the entire report.

Federal Judge: Beer Wholesalers Still Can't Sell Liquor

Oct 1, 2015
Dawn Ellner /


A federal judge has rejected a plea from Indiana's largest beer wholesaler to sell liquor.

Monarch Beverage sued to get rid of Indiana's law that prohibits beer wholesalers from dealing liquor (and vice versa) -- they have to choose between the two. The company says this law is an equal protection violation and thus unconstitutional.

Judge Sarah Evans Barker says Monarch, in her words, "entirely failed" to show there's any company being treated differently.

Purdue Research Foundation

Rolls-Royce has announced plans to build a 40,000-square foot facility at Purdue. The company is the first tenant in the university research park’s newly-established Aerospace District.

Subaru of Indiana Automotive

Subaru of Indiana Automotive announced today the Lafayette plant will be increasing its workforce and production by nearly a third -- and adding 1,200 new jobs -- as part of its plan to increase its production output.

SIA is investing $140 million dollars to up production by nearly 100,000 thousand vehicles a year.  SIA currently produces about 300,000 cars each year.

The expansion will take place over the next two years, and most of the jobs will be on the production line.

SIA Vice President Tom Easterday expects the new hires will come from within Indiana:

Gretchen Frazee / WFIU

Former Angie’s List CEO Bill Oesterle is launching an advocacy organization to push for a statewide LGBT civil rights law next year. Oesterle was one of the most high-profile critics of Governor Mike Pence and Republican lawmakers when they passed the religious freedom bill known as RFRA.

Oesterle left his post atop Angie’s List earlier this year to refocus on civic engagement – and reemerged with the launch of Tech for Equality.  He says the group will bring the voices of Indiana’s tech community to the legislature to advocate for LGBT civil rights.

Keith Cooper /

Purdue University investment officials say they’re waiting for an upswing in world stock markets to help offset some huge losses in recent weeks.

As world financial markets have been racked with instability recently, Purdue acting Chief Investment Officer Scott Seidle estimates the school’s holdings have shed 2-to-3-percent of their value. With an estimated $2.4 billion under management, that means Purdue’s wealth has declined about $60-70 million in the last few weeks.

gas meters
Damian Gadal /

The sight of a meter reader making the rounds in Tippecanoe County will soon be a thing of the past—at least for customers of natural gas company Vectren.

The firm is in the process of automating its meter-reading process, but Vectren spokeswoman Natalie Hedde says no current employees will lose their job as a result of the automation.

“The transition is not about the reduction of meter readers themselves,” she says. "It’s more about the efficiency and the accuracy of the information that we’re collecting.”

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 3 -- Veterans

Aug 14, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The unemployment rate among Indiana’s veterans is about the same as the state’s overall average of 5.4-percent.

But when you break it down and look specifically at veterans who enlisted after 9/11, that number jumps to about 1 in 10 -- twice the state’s total unemployment rate.

Mike Mozart /

On the same day oil prices reached their lowest level in more than six years, gas prices in central Indiana are going up.

Even as many Indianapolis-area stations raised the price of self-serve regular unleaded to nearly $2.60 per gallon, an increase of 30 cents per gallon or more, the price of oil dropped below $44 a barrel.

But senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan says the two are unrelated. He says the spike is caused by one of the largest units at BP’s Whiting, Indiana refinery going down.

Daniel Incandela /

A proposal to move 700 gaming positions from Rising Sun to a new casino in Indianapolis may have more support in Rising Sun than in Indy.

Rising Sun Casino owner Full House Resorts has proposed a casino on the land which was home to the old Indianapolis International Airport.

Rising Sun Mayor April Hautman says the positions Full House Resorts wants to reallocate to Indy aren't being used anyway – the existing facility is allowed to employ up to 1,400 people, but only has space for half that many.

Re-entering The Workforce Series: Part 2 -- Students

Aug 12, 2015
Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The workplace is changing at a rapid pace -- employees have to learn how to use new technology every day, jobs can often be more short-term and project-oriented, and companies are looking for people who not only have the skills to fill today’s positions but are able to think ahead and shape how business is done in the future.

Sylvia Bao /

Indiana farmland values declined in all three categories last year for the first time since 2009 -- but a Purdue economist says the drop was expected.

In Purdue’s latest land value survey, top-quality Hoosier farmland values dropped a little more than 5-percent in the last year. 

Average farmland values decreased by nearly 4-percent, while low-quality values are down just shy of 5-percent. 

But Purdue economist Michael Langemeier says he’s not surprised – revenue from crop sales have been down, which usually leads to a drop in land value.