A local economy is not an island in and of itself, but is part of the larger global economy. How it performs today and in the future is impacted by events that have already occurred, as well as events occurring in faraway locations. For these reasons, it is useful to consider both trending and the broader business climate when forecasting.
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product (GDP) was almost $6.4 billion for the Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)--comprised of Monroe and Owen counties--in 2017 (the most recent year available). That reflects a growth of approximately 2 percent since 2009, the year the Great Recession came to an end. (1) During that same time period, real GDP for Indiana grew 15.4 percent, (2) while U.S. GDP grew 19.1 percent. (3)
When the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, the seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate was 9.5 percent (4) and the seasonally adjusted Indiana unemployment rate was 10.6 percent. (5) The Bloomington unemployment rate was 7.5 percent (not seasonally adjusted). (6) The recovery took time, but finally in November 2016, the unemployment rate in Bloomington dropped below 4 percent and has hovered between 2.9 and 4.6 percent since. In August of this year, it was 3.6 percent.
As one would expect, given the drop in Bloomington's unemployment rate during this time period, employment has steadily grown. In June 2009, 75,226 people were employed (7) and estimated employment for September 2019 was 79,166, a growth of 5.2 percent. During that same time period, Indiana's total employment grew 12.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted). It is also encouraging to note that in the last year, the number of people employed in the Bloomington MSA has continued to grow.
Personal income has also been rising. In real dollars, the total personal income generated in 2010 was $5.9 billion. The total for 2019 is currently estimated to be about 42 percent higher at $8.4 billion. (8) Between 2010 and 2017, the latest year for which data are available, real per capita income grew 19 percent from $34,143 to $40,717.9. (9) During that same time, real per capita income increased 28 percent across the country (10) and 28 percent in Indiana. (11)
The Bloomington area has many characteristics that make it an appealing place to live, reflected by a growth in population from 190,800 in 2009 to a forecasted population of 202,500 for...