Labor market appears strong in new data as Indiana officials brace for possible ‘mild’ recession

State officials and experts agree there’s likely going to be a recession in 2023. But new preliminary state labor market estimates are sending some mixed messages. More than 500 people are already scheduled to lose jobs to layoffs and site closures in the first half of next year , according to Indiana’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act page. The majority of those job losses are in manufacturing. Experts say the predicted recession – even if it is just a mild downturn – will likely hit that industry hardest. And Indiana has a lot of manufacturing jobs to lose.READ MORE: Indiana’s labor market is still ‘astonishingly healthy’ despite warning signs in new employment dataEconomists and state lawmakers anticipate this recession because of inflation and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight it by raising interest rates on loans. The expectation is companies will borrow less money and, as a result, reduce production. That’ll put less demand on the global supply chain and bring down sky-high prices for basic goods. It will likely also bring layoffs. The Federal Reserve argues inflation hurts more people, more significantly. That can be a pretty scary outlook, but new preliminary labor market estimates tell a more complicated story. Alongside increasing layoffs, preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates also show November’s unemployment rate remained historically low at 3 percent, still beating the national rate. Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text “Indiana” to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues. The number of Hoosiers quitting jobs and the number of jobs available was still extraordinarily high in October, according to estimates from the BLS’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) data. There were about five job seekers for every 10 openings in Indiana. Unemployment data and a few other labor market measures are usually released one month after by BLS. While JOLTS estimates, which also contain layoffs, is usually released two months after. All the numbers are preliminary estimates which can be revised the month after. All this suggests workers still have a lot of power in the state’s job market. The economic choppy waters ahead might change that. Contact reporter Adam at or follow him on Twitter at @arayesIPB.

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