Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

 

After decades of manufacturing job losses, some Hoosier cities with majority white populations are bouncing back. But Gary, which is mostly black, is still struggling to stabilize.

It’s where former steelworker Mike Mitchell grew up. He pulls up to an empty lot on a quiet side street and stops his car.

“That’s where we used to stay,” he says.

The house where he grew up was torn down years ago. Now, it’s just weeds and wood scraps.

The first Impreza rolled off the line at Subaru’s only North American factory, in Lafayette, on Tuesday.

The car-maker hired 1,400 people, for a total staff of 5,500, and invested $1.3 billion to start producing the new model.

Subaru’s Lafayette capacity has grown 55 percent in the past two years, to nearly 400,000 vehicles a year.

They’re all made with parts from 28 Indiana suppliers, and steel from Northwest Indiana, says executive vice president Tom Easterday.

Indiana’s corn and soybean industries are pushing back against a New York Times investigation that alleges genetically modified crops, or GMOs, haven’t done what they set out to do.

Companies like Monsanto made GMOs a mainstay in agriculture 20 years ago, by altering corn and soybeans to kill pests and withstand chemical use.

Indiana could add a fourth port to its shipping system on the site of a former coal plant in the Southeast region.

Indiana Michigan Power decommissioned its Tanners Creek power plant on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, just west of Cincinnati, last year.

Lynn Friedman / https://www.flickr.com/photos/lynnfriedman/18263113926

Indiana’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in September, the first time in five months the rate didn’t go down.

The Indiana unemployment rate stayed at 4.5-percent last month. That’s still its lowest level in nearly a year and lower than all of its neighboring states.

The private sector added about 10,000 jobs for the month, the sixth consecutive month of increases. Gains came in almost all employment areas - the only outlier was the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which shed 1,300 jobs.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A new study explores where Hoosier manufacturing workers go when they lose their jobs.

Its authors, at the Indiana Business Research Center, say it shows more investment in job training would go a long way.

Economic analysis director Tim Slaper says the study sought to answer a simple question about laid-off manufacturing workers:

Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana

 

Growth in Indiana's manufacturing industry is slowing down, thanks to over-regulation and a lack of skilled workers.

That's the message from businesses that weighed in for a big annual survey on the health of the Hoosier manufacturing sector.

It's prepared by Indianapolis accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, working with researchers at Indiana University, the Indiana Manufacturers' Association and Conexus Indiana.

 

Town of Orleans

 

One of Orange County's biggest employers, the century-old Paoli furniture factory, is shutting down.

The region already has some of the highest unemployment in the state, so local officials hope the closure can be an opportunity, not a setback.

The Paoli company will lay off 367 workers and close its furniture plant's doors by October 2017.

Annie Ropeik / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Labor unions are hoping to gain back some of the power they've lost in Indiana in recent decades by getting out the vote for state and local Democrats in November.

But with a distracting presidential campaign backdrop and an uphill battle to reform state labor policies, organizers are facing a lot of obstacles.

At a United Auto Workers training center in Kokomo, Terri Mutran sits at a laptop, calling members to tell them who the UAW and other unions have endorsed in Indiana.

Valerie Everett / https://www.flickr.com/photos/valeriebb/273444106

 

Indiana farmers aren't harvesting quite as much corn as expected this year — but they should still have record yields for soybeans.

As of this month, the USDA is expecting Indiana soybean yields of 59 bushels per acre. It's even better than their initial forecast, and it beats 2014's state record.

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