Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Indiana Businesses Getting a Pounding

Along with the snow, the news is about businesses closing shop. I have no idea if we had done anything differently the past twenty years with our industrial policy that any difference would have been seen today. This mess has grown too large. With doom creeping about the country and the world, the article below on Old National seems weird, even a bit surreal. Or is it something positive?

None of the news in this post includes the Navistar closing in Indianapolis. I have a separate post on that below. There is one ray of sunshine about GM. I guess Old National is a bit more than a ray of sunshine.

All are from the IBJ unless otherwise noted.

"International Paper Co. said it will close its industrial packaging plant in Hartford City, north of Muncie, laying off 99 workers beginning March 26. The Memphis, Tenn.-based company also has operations in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Butler, and Portland, Ind.

Southern Indiana furniture maker OFS Brands Inc., meanwhile, said it will close its 68-employee Plant 8 in Huntingburg as the company consolidates its operations. Some of the workers may be able to transfer to other OFS locations. Layoffs are expected to begin March 23"

"Indiana's unemployment rate reached 8.2 percent in December - the highest it has been since President Ronald Reagan began his second term in office.

The state's rate in December shot up 1.1 percentage points, pushing the figure to its highest point since February 1985, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Indiana has the dubious distinction of joining South Carolina as the only state in the nation to log such a large increase.

'This is big; that's a huge jump,' said Philip Powell, an associate professor of business economics at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business."

"General Motors Corp.'s latest round of cost-cutting moves will miss Indiana.

The automaker said yesterday it will cut 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio, and it will halt production for several weeks at nine U.S. plants over the next six months due to slow sales.

GM spokesman Chris Lee told IBJ that none of those plants are Indiana.

Lee said the company will eliminate the second shift at its Delta Township plant near Lansing, Mich., on March 30, and the second shift at its Lordstown, Ohio, factory will end April 6.

About 1,200 workers will be laid off at the Michigan plant, while 800 jobs will be cut in Ohio."

"EVANSVILLE » Old National Bancorp increased its commercial lending in the same quarter it accepted money from the federal government. Commercial loans grew 12 percent, from $1.7 million to $1.9 million, from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the same period in 2008. (Star report)"
That sounds like Old National used its federal bailout money in the way ti was supposed to do and unlike most of the banks elsewhere.

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