IPFW Hosts Economic Outlook Panel

Nov 20, 2017

Credit Zach Bernard/WBOI News

IPFW hosted an economic panel Friday that touched on positive and negative trends seen around the world, the United States, Indiana and the Northeast region.

Rachel Blakeman is the director of IPFW’s Community Research Institute. She says Fort Wayne’s unemployment level stands at 3.5 percent, which is below the national average near five percent.

However, Blakeman says wages are less encouraging. The average annual wage in the state is $9,000 dollars less than the national average. In Northeast Indiana, wages are $2,000 less than the state average.

Blakeman says it’s a tough problem to solve, but has a place to start: keeping college graduates employed in Northeast Indiana.

“The average wage in Michigan is $9,000 more than it is here in Fort Wayne," said Blakeman. "One thing we always come back to when talking about this is educational attainment.”

According to the panel, Indiana’s economic forecast looks to remain consistent with its last seven years. The US and world economies are also expected to stay similar to 2017, barring a significant geopolitical change.

A full disclosure, Rachel Blakeman serves as chair of the Northeast Indiana Public Radio Community Advisory Board.