Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Indiana’s unemployment rate is 4 percent, unchanged from December, maintaining the state’s lowest rate in more than 15 years. And Indiana’s unemployment rate declined more over the last year than any neighboring state.

An older audience of Indiana Farm Bureau members heard a younger perspective at their annual conference in Indianapolis this past weekend – from the head of millennial engagement at agribusiness giant Monsanto.

Vance Crowe told Hoosier farmers they should rethink how they communicate about the food system.

Crowe is one of many recent hires at Monsanto tasked with changing the public narrative about GMOs, industrial agriculture and other controversial issues.

Indiana’s ports had one of their best years ever in 2016, moving nearly 11.3 million tons of cargo.

That included rising grain and coal exports, the kind that could see major changes under Trump administration trade reforms.

A new report from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education says a rising number of people are getting educational certificates from two-year Indiana colleges, which may help fill the state’s open manufacturing jobs.

The CHE report focuses on credit-bearing certificates – the kind college students can earn in less than one or two years, from programs that “commonly have a career or occupational focus.”

In Indiana, CHE found a 32 percent increase in production of these certificates since 2012, mostly from two-year public schools like Ivy Tech Community College.

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

Within a month of each other, two downtown Lafayette farm-to-table restaurants have announced they’re closing for good.

But experts and chefs alike warn against making too much of the coincidence.

Restauration, a downtown Lafayette restaurant that opened in 2015, was a dream years in the making for owner and chef Kirsten Serrano.  She and her husband, Paco, already had a steady business running La Scala on the courthouse square, but Kirsten wanted to try something new: A farm-to-tale concept that used only local, whole foods and could cater to people with food allergies.

Matt Chaney / https://www.flickr.com/photos/vcucns/

Just days after a federal judge shut down a $54 billion merger between health insurers Anthem and Cigna on anti-competitive grounds, a Valentine’s Day move by Connecticut’s Cigna seeks to dump the Indianapolis-based company once and for all.

 

Cigna officials announced Tuesday they had sued Anthem in a Delaware court seeking a judge’s affirmation that the company had lawfully ducked out of the merger agreement, and that Anthem couldn’t extend the merger’s expiration date.

 

A new report says some Indiana cities could be among the most impacted in the country by a potential trade war.

The Brookings Institution says Columbus is just more than 50 percent dependent on exports – more than any other metro area in the country. Elkhart, Kokomo and Lafayette are also in the top 10.

 

Generations of farmers, agronomists, lawmakers and other alumni of Purdue’s College of Agriculture met for their annual Fish Fry, amid a lot of political and economic uncertainty for the farm industry.

That fact wasn’t lost on the hundreds of Purdue agriculture alumni who flocked to the Indiana State Fairgrounds Saturday.

Most of them rely on farm exports to Mexico, China and other countries where President Donald Trump has pledged to reform trade deals. And Indiana Agriculture Secretary Ted McKinney says it’s on people’s minds.

Simon Law / https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfllaw/

A Tippecanoe County law would drastically restrict the number of days county residents could rent their homes out to visitors on websites such as Airbnb. But the law could be hamstrung by a bill making its way through the state legislature.

 

Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest in more than 15 years.

The Indiana unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percent in December, falling to 4 percent. That’s the third consecutive month the rate went down. It’s the largest three-month decline in nearly two years. And 4 percent is Indiana’s lowest rate since May 2001.

Yet the state’s private sector lost 6,000 jobs last month. Almost all of that – 5,900 jobs – came from the private education services sector. Only the manufacturing and construction industries added jobs in December.

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