Enrollments at Indiana University Northwest increased again this fall, but the Gary school seems to be the exception, according to Micah Pollack, Indiana University Northwest professor of economics.
That's because an improving economy and falling unemployment rate will drive people back into the workplace, Pollack said. Just the opposite occurred during the recession
"When the economy goes south, people start looking to go back to school to get more training," Pollack said.
The federal government's partial government shutdown was only about one week old when Pollack spoke, but he said the harm would increase as the shutdown continued. One major banking house has estimated each week of shutdown will knock about 0.2 percent off quarterly GDP.
With 2,241 federal employees in Northwest Indiana, federal job furloughs would have a ripple effect on stores and restaurants which would start rather quickly. Not to mention the cessation of needed services like the issuance of some environmental permits.
That can only exacerbate a region employment picture which has been largely static this summer.