Indiana University’s Kelly School’s Business Outlook Panel last November presented its economic activity forecast for 2009.  Faculty MBA chair Phillip Powell predicted our state’s economy will shrink between half a percent to one percent this year, with logistics and healthcare remaining strong.  Powell forecast local unemployment at 6 – 6 1/2% for the year.

In my earlier blog “New Year, New Update On Job Markets In Indiana“, I stressed how important it was to my Indiana bankruptcy clients to be able to rebuild their financial lives as they emerge from bankruptcy.  That’s precisely why I’m so interested in hiring and layoffs all over the state.    The forecasts represent far more than statistics for me.  Many hardworking people are finding themselves forced to turn to the bankruptcy safety net because of job layoffs.  Some clients who have already filed Chapter 13 bankruptcy will have their three to five year debt repayment plans derailed due to layoffs.  Many small businesses will be forced into bankruptcy (see Employment Update For Rebuilding After Bankruptcy).

The fact that Indiana’s manufacturing sector still makes up the largest sector of our state’s GDP, with auto-related manufacturing a large part of that, is significant.  In fact, diesel maker Navistar is losing its supply contract with Ford, and 600 Indianapolis jobs could be threatened.  According to the Indianapolis Star, Angie’s List plans to eliminate 50 jobs, partly as a result of new technology making some data processing jobs obsolete.

More positive news resulting from fundamental changes in our job markets comes from Greenwood, Indiana, where Diverse Staffing announced plans to employ more than 100 new people in 2009, explaining that, despite the economic downturn, Indianapolis companies are looking for top tier talent. my four Indiana bankruptcy law offices is located, there is good news as well.  Predictive Physiology and Medicine, a blood analysis business, intends to hire 75 new employees.  Predictive is located on the site of the old RCA plan.

I’m hoping that these glimmers of good news amidst the general downturn will mean that Indiana has a chance to escape severe recession in the year to come, and that myIndiana bankruptcy clients will be able to make their “fresh start”!