RICHMOND — Jobs are available in Wayne County. That's easy to see, quite literally because of the "now hiring" signs.

And while creative efforts continue to attract employees and to eliminate barriers stopping potential employees, the hiring difficulties haven't dissuaded optimistic businesses from creating more Wayne County jobs.

The Indiana Business Review forecast from Indiana University East notes that businesses have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and are adapting with a variety of measures to cope with pandemic disruptions and economy impacts. That leads to a low unemployment projection for the year.

The IBR surveys regional businesses each fall about their optimism for the coming year. The 2022 report that was recently released showed a 2.5% increase in the composite IU East Regional Business Confidence Index to 91.9 points.

The study's Present Situation Index increased 6.4%, to 85.7 points; however, the Expectation Index rose only slightly, by 1.0%, to 96.4 points. Those results indicate businesses experienced a much better 2021 than 2020 and looked forward to a slightly better 2022.

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