A new trend: Historical, negative economic tendencies over the last few decades have given way to a new trend for Madison County and the greater Anderson community. In place of persistent unemployment and a long-term decline in the number of jobs, the economic outlook for Madison County has improved.
Employment and job creation
Positive trend in unemployment rate: The unemployment rate for Madison County has fallen to less than a third of what it was in 2010. As illustrated in Table 1, the unemployment rate declined from a high of 12.1 percent in 2010 down to 4.6 percent as of September 2016.
Recent improvements: The positive employment trend continued over the last 12 months. The unemployment rate for Madison County decreased from 4.8 in October 2015 to 4.6 as of September 2016 (see Table 2).
2016 shows a significant increase in jobs: After long periods of stagnate and declining employment, the number of employed in Madison County showed healthy increases over the last few years. The number of employed individuals increased from 52,708 in 2013 to 57,884 in 2016. This represents an annual increase of 3.4 percent from 2013 to 2014, of 1.7 percent from 2014 to 2015, and of 4.4 percent from 2015 to 2016.
Jobs recovery ahead of Indiana for 2016: The improvement in employment numbers for Madison County surpassed Indiana's gains over the year from October 2015 to September 2016. As noted in Table 2, employment increased from 55,939 to 57,884 for Madison County and increased from 3,144,165 to 3,221,019 for the state of Indiana. Madison County improved the number of jobs by 3.5 percent over the 12-month period, while Indiana improved by 2.4 percent.
Closing the Gap
Unemployment rate: Over the last several years, Madison County has been closing the gap between the local unemployment rate and the state rate. For decades, the Madison County unemployment rate has trailed the state unemployment rate, but that gap has shown significant signs of closing since 2010 (see Figure 1).
Fewer People: The increase in the number of employed in Madison County was achieved in the challenging face of a falling population base. As illustrated in Figure 2, Madison County and Indiana employment increased, along with Indiana's population; however, the population of Madison County declined over that same period. Since 2010, the number of employed in Madison County increased by 10.8 percent, while the population fell by almost 2 percent.
Outlook for 2017