Inside the Data Center

Hoosier-Built Products and Gulf Coast Reconstruction

A photograph in the September 26, 2005 Newsweek shows a man overlooking a sea of mobile homes from a helicopter in Baton Rouge, La. The gentleman, a Flour Corp. manager named Bob Spaulding, does not like what he sees: “There’s not enough of ‘em and we need to move faster,” he said. A September 18, 2005 Indianapolis Star article discusses the economic fallout from Hurricane Katrina on Indiana’s economy. The reporter points out that Indiana is the nation’s largest producer of manufactured homes and wood office furniture—goods needed during the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast.

Exploring the recently released data from the 2002 Economic Census, Indiana ranks first in the total value of shipments in the manufacturing of manufactured homes (mobile homes) and of wood office furniture.
In 2002, Indiana manufactured over $924 million worth of manufactured homes (see Table 1), about 32 percent more than Texas, which produced just under $700 million. Indiana contributed 13.8 percent to the total value of shipments of manufactured homes in the United States. Although the Economic Census shows that, compared to 1997, there was a significant drop in the value of shipments, annual payroll and number of employees involved in the industry, the decrease was greater for the United States as a whole.

Table 1: Five-Year Trend in Manufactured Homes Manufacturing

Table 1

The 2002 Economic Census shows that Indiana produced almost $466 million worth of wood office furniture (see Table 2), ahead of North Carolina, which produced just over $410 million. Indiana contributed 16.5 percent to the total value of shipments of wood furniture nationwide. Like the manufactured homes industry in Indiana, there was a drop between 1997 and 2002 in the value of shipments, annual payroll and number of employees in the wood furniture manufacturing industry. Unlike the manufactured homes industry, however, the decrease in Indiana was relatively large compared to that of the nation.

Table 2: Five-Year Trend in Wood Office Furniture Manufacturing

Table 2

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance

On August 30, the Census Bureau released income, poverty and health insurance data, showing 2003–2004 (two-year average) estimates and percent changes from the 2002–2003 estimates. Nationwide, real median household income remained unchanged between 2003 and 2004 at $44,389. Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004. The percentage of the nation’s population without health insurance coverage remained stable, at 15.7 percent in 2004. The number of people with health insurance increased by 2.0 million to 245.3 million between 2003 and 2004, and the number without such coverage rose by 800,000 to 45.8 million.

Based on two-year moving averages (2002–2003 and 2003–2004), the story for Indiana is fairly similar. Income for 2003–2004 dropped to $42,946 (down 0.9 percent from $43,341). Indiana was one of seven states that saw poverty rates increase. Other Midwest states that experienced increases were Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. The poverty rate in Indiana increased 1.3 percent to 10.8 percent (see Table 3). Finally, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage increased by 0.6 percent to 14 percent.

Table 3: Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in Indiana

Table 3

Frank Wilmot, State Data Center Coordinator
Indiana State Library