Manufacturing Index Shows Recession Risk, Drop in Employment

Creighton University's Mid-America Manufacturing Index drops after two months of growth. Photo Credit: Shutterstock (JENSON)

Posted December 1, 2023

Creighton University released its Mid-America Business Conditions Index survey that shows the manufacturing economy throughout the Midwest region teetering into a recession risk.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index, an economic indicator for the nine-state region including Kansas and Missouri, decreased significantly to 42.2 in November, down from 51.5 in October.

This is the lowest level the index has seen since June 2020.

In addition to a steep downward trajectory, supply managers surveyed have hinted toward the lack of available workers. About 12,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost since April 2023, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Kansas Business Conditions Index for November fell to 44.7 from 51.5 in October, with 1,800 manufacturing jobs lost over the past year, according to the BLS.

The Missouri Business Conditions Index for November also dropped to 37.5 in November from 43.9 in October. However, Missouri has experienced a slight bump in manufacturing jobs in the past 12 months with employment boosted by 1,700 jobs.

“According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the regional average manufacturing wage rate climbed by 3.4% over the past 12 months, or slightly above the 3.2% growth in consumer prices,” Ernie Goss, Ph.D. at Creighton University said.

While the number of jobs has seen a decrease wages have climbed in the region. The regional average manufacturing wage rate reached 3.4 percent over the past 12 months or slightly above the 3.2 percent increase in consumer prices.