After eight years of expansion, it seems that the regional economy slowed down in The South Bend-Mishawaka Metropolitan Statistical Area MSA may likely see a modest increase in its aggregate production in and has experienced a smaller increase in the labor force and employment than in The monthly trends of the labor force and employment are presented in Figure 1.
Due to the unprecedented COVID pandemic, Indiana announced a statewide lockdown to contain the virus in late March and then eased the datings beginning in May. As a result, the local economy, which consists of the South Bend-Mishawaka and Elkhart-Goshen metropolitan statistical areas MSAswas severely affected by the pandemic in However, the local cost of labor continued to rise during the pandemic period.
The St. Joseph housing market slowed down the pace of new home construction, whereas existing home sales remained virtually unchanged with a higher worker sales price. According to the household survey data from the U. The combined region's average monthly employment wasindeclining by 8. The loss of jobs was 12, Both MSAs suffered a higher rate of loss in their employment than the national and state data.
From tothe U. Note: Data are shown through August and are not seasonally adjusted. The average monthly unemployment rate of South Bend-Mishawaka soared to 9. Similarly, the average jobless rate in Elkhart-Goshen rose to 9. For both MSAs, these are the highest unemployment rates since The April unemployment rate, after the statewide lockdown order was issued March 23,reached Job losses were also witnessed in other services jobs ; trade, transportation and utilities jobs ; professional Elkhart business services jobs ; natural resources, mining and construction jobs ; government jobs ; financial activities jobs ; and information jobs.
Elkhart-Goshen MSA total nonfarm employment was hit hard as well, shedding 11, jobs inwhich is 8. Employment decline was led by manufacturing -8, jobs ; leisure and hospitality -1, jobs ; and trade, transportation and utilities -1, jobs. Employment also declined in government jobs ; private educational and health services jobs ; professional and business services jobs ; other services jobs ; information jobs ; and financial activities jobs. Note: Data are for January through August Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The cost of labor continued to rise in The average workweek for all employees extended by 0. Consequently, the average weekly earnings rose by 3.
New home construction continued to slow down in St. Joseph County in Figure 3 displays the single-family residential building permits issued in St. Joseph County from January to August The county issued new single-family building permits in the first eight months of This was 29 permits fewer and Note: Data are shown through August Source: St. Joseph County Building Department. Statistics from the Indiana Association of Realtors indicated fewer newly listed houses for sale in St.
Joseph County in January-August These are the largest single-month employment declines in history dating back to January The local economy was put to a halt. Since Maywith the reopening of local businesses, the economy has been recovering.
Labor force and employment
However, when looking forward tothere is still uncertainty. The pandemic could have changed consumer attitudes, behaviors and purchasing habits, suggested by recent research from Accenture April Consumers are more conscious about their purchases, more likely buying the most basic needs and turning to digital commerce.
To cope with isolation, consumers are using digital means to connect, learn and play. For the local economy, the implication is that consumers may continue to exercise caution when attending crowded places such as restaurants, bars, casinos, hotels, movie theaters, department stores, dentists, day care centers, barbers, etc.
At the time of this writing, COVID cases across the nation are rising, with the Midwest leading in new cases per capita. If the outbreak continues, states could reinstate limitations on movement and activities.
Altogether, we will see fewer business activities in leisure and hospitality, sensitive retail, personal services, and manufacturing in the first and second quarters of In the recovery, the rebound in consumer spending, to a certain extent, was attributed to massive government stimulus packages.
The U. However, considering the limited government resources, how long the government stimulus effort can continue will cast a dark cloud over the consumption recovery in The presence of effective treatments and vaccines could boost consumer confidence in returning to their pre-pandemic lifestyles.
Two vaccines sought authorization from the U. Food and Drug Administration in late November But consumers may still shy away from entertainment, food services and accommodation toward activities that can take place in a socially distanced way while waiting for herd immunity to be reached. Local government will continue to experience lower tax revenue in under high unemployment and lower economic activities. Business investment in the affected industries mentioned ly will decline as well due to lower demand.
Manufacturing production would slow down if demand remains low. The housing market is under the impact of mixed factors. S long-term mortgage rate is currently at a very low level. Both factors boost the demand for houses—to take advantage of low interest rates and to improve living conditions.
However, the possibility of a double-dip recession, the continued high unemployment rates, and the lack of continued government stimulus will reduce household income in Based on these mixed effects, St. Joseph County in will see fewer new home constructions and existing-home sales will soften.
The median sales price is still expected to rise, but at a smaller pace. In summary, as long as the disease remains a ificant issue inconsumer demand in leisure and hospitality, sensitive retail and personal services will continue to lag. Softened business investment and a worsened government budget hinder the labor market recovery.
South bend and elkhart forecast
Personal income in both areas will stay stagnant in The spread of the pandemic and the need for social distancing might entice consumers away from using flights and hotels where crowds gather. Instead, the RV is a favorable option to satisfy the desire to travel while keeping a reasonable distance from the public.
Consequently, the demand for RVs translates into more production in the RV industry and helps to bring down Elkhart-Goshen's unemployment rate in this forecast. Permission to use the material is encouraged, but please us at ibrc iu.
Privacy Notice. Figure 3: Single-family residential building permits in St. Joseph County Note: Data are shown through August Notes Data on metropolitan GDP for are not available. According to Narayan et al. AEP statistics show that the industrial electricity usage in South Bend-Mishawaka dipped topercent andpercent kilowatt hour in April and May, respectively. The August electricity data showed that South Bend-Mishawaka was back to the level consumed in Augustbut Elkhart-Goshen was still 2. The labor statistics used in the article, including labor force, employment, unemployment, unemployment rate, employment and earnings by industries, are the average of January to August in According to the primary mortgage market survey by Freddic Mac, the U.
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