The year 2009 was characterized by a turbulent economy, and many probably thought 2010 did not feel much better. While the economy improved in 2010, it was still slower than the languid recovery forecasted. Economists continuously downgraded their cautiously optimistic forecasts, consumer confidence declined, and employment figures left something to be desired. As we look to 2011, it appears that the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) will continue to recover at a conservative rate. This slow pace of recovery is on par with what's expected nationally.
Despite the prediction of a modest recovery, the Lafayette MSA, which includes Tippecanoe, Benton and Carroll counties, is still viewed as an attractive area to live and work. After years of strong population growth, the MSA population is expected to rebound in 2011 following the minor drop experienced in 2010 (-0.7 percent), as shown in Figure 1. This population growth has been driven by Tippecanoe County, home to Purdue University and its research park. It is expected that the metro will add about 800 residents in 2011 (a 0.4 percent growth).
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
As seen in Table 1, except for June and July 2010, the Lafayette MSA consistently performed better than Indiana and the United States in the past year. The uptick in unemployment in June and July 2010 compared to state and national levels mirrors the trend seen in 2009 and may be reflective of the change in the labor force due to students leaving the area during summer break.
* TABLE 1: Unemployment for the Lafayette MSA, Indiana, and the United States, 2009 to 2010 Year Month Lafayette MSA Indiana United States 2009 August 9.2% 10% 9.6% September 8.9 9.5 9.5 October 8.5 9.5 9.5 November 8.7 9.4 9.4 December 8.8 9.7 9.7 Annual 9 10.1 9.3 2010 January 9.6 10.5 10.6 February 9.4 10.7 10.4 March 9.4 10.7 10.2 April 8.8 9.9 9.5 May 9.1 9.7 9.3 June 10.2 10.2 9.6 July 9.8 10.1 9.7 August 9.1 9.9 9.5 September 8.5 9.5 9.2 Source: IBRC, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data Table 2 compares the employment between 2009 and 2010 in the Lafayette MSA. In 2010, the Lafayette MSA continued to shed jobs in nearly every industry. Last year, it was forecasted that the Lafayette MSA would see this shedding of jobs through the second quarter of 2010 before a rebound in hiring occurs. As of September 2010, total nonfarm employment has declined by 2,856 jobs (-3.2 percent) from the 2009 average.
* TABLE 2: Lafayette MSA Employment, 2009...