Listen Live
Graphic of a pile of $20 bills turned into a jigsaw puzzle

Source: (Photo: Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock)

STATEWIDE–One in four of Indiana-based manufacturing companies are concerned about a possible recession in 2024, according to the 2023 Indiana Manufacturing Survey: Sailing in Troubled Waters.

That survey was conducted by Katz, Sapper, & Miller in partnership with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and the Indiana Manufacturers Association.

“55% of Hoosier manufacturers think there is going to be a recession next year. For every article that says there won’t be a recession, there’s another article that says there won’t be,” said Mark Frohlich, associate professor of operations management and the Gregg and Sabine Sherrill Director of the Center for Excellence in Manufacturing at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, in an interview with Inside Indiana Business.

Less than half of respondents (41%) indicated that the number of manufacturing jobs at their organization is increasing, and 45% say they expect the number of skilled jobs to increase because of advanced technology and automation. Many companies also plan to be conservative about having plans that would expand their business, such as investing in new equipment or facilities.

Only 30% of those in the survey said their businesses are “healthy.” Despite that, Jason Patch, chair of Katz, Sapper & Miller’s Manufacturing believes the stage is set for a challenging, yet hopeful period for Indiana manufacturers.

“Owners and operators appear prepared to face these challenges in the months ahead, but they will need legislative support to make sure they can provide for employees, including skills gap training,” said Patch.

Frohlich says despite the concerns, manufacturers are committed to investing in technologies, developing the workforce, and finding ways to maintain profitability.