The monthly Midwest economic survey conducted by Creighton University hit another record low in March. Economics professor Ernie Goss conducts the survey of Iowa and eight other states. Businesses are reporting that their production levels and employment levels are not looking as good this year. Goss says manufacturers appear to be feeling the brunt of the country’s economic problems. Most economists say were in a slow down, not a recession. Goss says it doesn’t matter what you call it, businesses are feeling the pinch. Businesses are projecting zero growth, compared to five-percent growth prior to the slowdown. Goss says the rapid slowdown makes it feel like a recession. The slowdown hasn’t shown up yet in Iowa’s unemployment rate. Goss says that’s because businesses are trying to delay the layoffs as much as possible. Employers had such a hard time finding workers, they don’t want to lay them off. He says they’re instead trying to hoard workers by cutting back workweeks, instead of layoffs. Goss predicts businesses eventually will have to layoff more workers, but he says there probably won’t be a huge increase in unemployment.
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