Indiana News

Gov. Holcomb plugs sustainability investments amid new jobs report

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday said Indiana will have to prove its commitment to sustainability to keep up its long-term economic growth.

Speaking to industry leaders Friday morning, Holcomb said the so-called “circular economy” comes up every single time he pitches Indiana to business leaders and foreign governments. The term refers to jobs and industry processes that seek to eliminate waste of resources, ranging from the recycling industry to renewable energy.

“These are global companies that have a footprint that they are seeking to make sure gets as close to, if not at, like Subaru: zero emissions. And that’s something we can all be proud of,” he said. “But, it’s definitely part of the equation when we’re talking with companies that we want to see grow here in the state of Indiana.”

Holcomb’s remarks came on the same day the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report for the month of April. The bureau found the country added 428,000 nonfarm jobs in April across a host of industries. Unemployment remained at 3.6%, and the labor force participation rate sat at 62%. Those two figures sat at 3.5% and 61%, respectively, in February 2020, the last month before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said “circular economy” jobs are key to rebuilding the economy, especially if the nation is to meet the Biden administration’s climate goals. She told News 8 that Americans should expect some slowdown in job gains.

“As the labor market gets back to normal, we’re starting to see job gains that are more in the 400s instead of the 500s, like what we saw in months past, but this is still a good labor market for those who want a job.”

Holcomb said public-private partnerships are the key to growing Indiana’s “circular economy.” He said state and local governments can play a role through the contracts they award, though private industry will have to do the heavy lifting.