Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

 

The latest federal employment numbers show jobs growing more quickly in urban areas than rural ones across the country – despite low unemployment across all regions.

Seventy percent of job growth from 2016 to 2017 was in places with more than a million residents, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Meanwhile, rural places still struggled to create new jobs and maintain their workforces.

In Indiana, data shows 29 counties gaining jobs more slowly than the national rate in the past year, and another 23 losing jobs overall.

More than two-thirds of people who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. Technology to help them enter the workforce is rapidly developing and recent advances could help level the playing field for blind job seekers in Indiana.

Jim Durst has been the superintendent of the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired for 26 years. He says students want to work when they leave – and they can do the job.

Indiana’s unemployment rate rose last month for the first time in five months even as the state’s private sector added jobs.

The Indiana unemployment rate went up 0.1 percent rising to 3.1 percent in July. That’s the first increase since February. But it still keeps the unemployment rate well below the national average and lower than all neighboring states.

Purdue University will help train thousands of new Infosys employees in Indiana and nationwide.

The five-year agreement comes as the technology and consulting company readies a new hub in Indianapolis.

For years, Infosys hired mainly visa workers from overseas. The company said in May it’s shifting course, hiring 10,000 American employees – including 2,000 in Indiana.

President Donald Trump disbanded two of his economic advisory councils, after many members resigned in protest of his response to racist violence.

Trump tweeted Wednesday he was “ending” his Manufacturing Council and Strategic & Policy Forum, all made up of CEOs and other industry and workforce leaders.

Among those who resigned from the manufacturing group before that tweet were national AFL-CIO union president Richard Trumka and his chief of staff.

Indiana says it wants to help train train more Hoosier workers for in-demand jobs. Two grant programs will help cover tuition for career certificates and training costs for employers in what the state calls “high-demand” areas.

The legislature approved $10 million apiece over two years for the two programs – the Workforce Ready Grant and the Employer Training Grant.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A group of about 50 City of West Lafayette employees, all clad in blue tee shirts, flanked the city’s redesigned State Street Monday, welcoming Purdue students back to campus. WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski walked along with Mayor John Dennis and City Clerk Sana Booker and sent an audio postcard.

Indiana is set to have unexpectedly big corn and soybean harvests this fall. That means continued tight profit margins for farmers and more low food prices for consumers.

Purdue University agronomists made their annual announcement of the state’s crop production forecast at the State Fair Thursday.

They say yields should better than expected, after weeks of wet, patchy weather. But economist Chris Hurt says that extra supply for the same demand will mean bad prices for Hoosier farmers.

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Lisa Ryan, WBOI News

One year ago, Wabash, Indiana competed in a national competition to bring a half million dollars into the city. The money went to small business owners and improvements to the city’s downtown.

IBM owes Indiana more than $78 million after it failed to deliver on its contract to privatize the state’s welfare system a decade ago. A county judge determined the final dollar amounts in a decision published Monday.

It comes after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled last year IBM had breached its $1.3 billion contract with then-Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration.

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