Creighton economist says shortage of skilled workers is a drag on Midwest economy

Creighton economist says shortage of skilled workers is a drag on Midwest economy
Ernie Goss

An Omaha economist says a monthly survey suggests that the economy continued to expand in nine Midwest and Plains states last month but was hampered by shortages of skilled workers.

A survey report issued Monday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped to 54.1 in November from 54.9 in October. The September reading was 57.5.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says that in addition to the hiring problems, the supply managers who responded report mounting harm from tariffs and trade disagreements.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth.

Nebraska’s overall index slipped to 51.3 in November from October’s 51.5. Nebraska’s nondurable-goods manufacturers added 2,000 workers for a 3.7 percent gain over the past 12 months, while durable-goods producers boosted jobs by 2,300 for a 5.2 percent gain, the survey found.

Iowa’s overall index climbed a point to hit 52.8 in November, compared with 51.8 in October.

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