As the national economy sputters, the Indianapolis area is losing jobs faster than its peers, falling to levels not seen since 2002.
With reluctance, Mike Alley, a veteran Indianapolis banker, joined the board of Evansville-based Integra Bank in April 2009. A month later, he found himself CEO—the beginning of a 26-month odyssey that ended July 29 with banking regulators seizing and shutting down the 160-year-old institution.
Funding for the state’s work-force-development agencies to help Hoosiers develop job skills has fallen sharply, even as unemployment remains high and the economy is still shaky.
Hiring picked up slightly in July and the unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent, an optimistic sign after the worst day on Wall Street in nearly three years.
Indiana regional banks and national institutions are faring better, a possible indication that Indianapolis’ economy isn’t recovering as quickly as expected.
The economy expanded at a meager 1.3-percent annual rate in the spring after scarcely growing at all in the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department said Friday. The combined growth for the first six months of the year was the weakest since the recession ended two years ago.
Mike Alley, perhaps more than any other banker in the state, is experiencing the pain the economic crisis has wrought on the nation’s financial institutions.
Americans slowed their spending in September to the weakest pace in three months and their incomes fell for the first time in 14 months.
The report raises the risk that business investment, which had been contributing to a rebound from the worst recession in generations, will decelerate in coming months, underscoring the Federal Reserve’s concern that growth is too slow.
Still, the economy is barely growing and hiring is slow. Businesses and other private employers added a net total of 67,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said.