Updated: Thursday, 04 Nov 2010, 12:30 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 04 Nov 2010, 12:30 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana University economists predicted Thursday that the state would see slow job growth and only a slight decline in its unemployment rate of more than 10 percent during the coming year.
The annual economic forecast by the panel from the Kelley School of Business said that the country will continue with a "disappointingly weak" recovery from the recession.
Payroll growth next year will remain at about its current 2 percent level in the state, which would translate to about 50,000 additional jobs, said Jerry Conover, director of IU's Business Research Center.
"The increase is from a very weak base level," he said. "We probably won't hit pre-recession peak employment until 2013 or beyond."
Indiana had about 298,000 people looking for work in September, when its unemployment rate was at 10.1 percent — the sixth straight month in double-digits.
Economist Kyle Anderson said the economic recovery seemed to have little steam in the state and that the jobless rate could remain above 9 percent a year from now.
"Coming out of a recession, we'd like to see a lot more growth," Anderson told WISH-TV. "That 50,000 number is really just going to barely move the unemployment number down."
The economists projected moderate growth of 3 percent in personal incomes for Hoosiers, with inflation at less than 1 percent. The panel also said the budgets of state and local governments will remain strained by slow revenue growth, the disappearance of federal stimulus funds and weakened property values
Uncertainty abounds about the political climate, taxes and economic policies, economist Bill Witte said.
"Until some of this uncertainty is removed, the prospects for a robust recovery will remain dim," he said.
The panel said the economy overall will expand at about a 3 percent rate in 2011.
"This will be a little better than 2010, but not enough to make much progress against the damage done during the recession," Witte said.
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