Poverty concerns overshadow positive economic trends Featured

Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research Director Jeremy Hill makes observations about state economic trends during Friday's Emporia Economic Outlook Conference. Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research Director Jeremy Hill makes observations about state economic trends during Friday's Emporia Economic Outlook Conference. Chuck Samples/KVOE News

Local and state economic trends are trending in more positive ways than they had in the past, but there are still "headwinds" to conquer.


Those were the big takeaways from Friday's Emporia Economic Outlook Conference held at Emporia State University. ESU Director for the Center for Economic Education and Community Research Rob Catlett says the overall news is "a bit better than it has been in the past," but Emporia and Lyon County as a whole are still having a hard time getting past the Tyson layoffs and the Great Recession of a decade ago.


 

The event is organized each year by Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research. Director Jeremy Hill says there are definitely some positive trends developing at the state level.


 

Locally, there are still some significant concerns about poverty, with nearly 6,700 Lyon County residents -- or over 20 percent of the county population -- living below the poverty line. Another measure: nearly 40 percent of Lyon County families are single-parent households, well above the state average. Catlett says income distribution, especially among low- and moderate-income residents, is a concern for local leaders.

Catlett also said the upcoming election Nov. 6 provides clear choices for the state's economic direction. He did not suggest who voters should support and he did not give further specifics, but he said gubernatorial candidates are offering "real choices" on whether the public sector will shrink or stay relatively stable. He also encouraged voters to keep in mind what's best for them personally and for the state as a whole as they cast their ballots.

Friday's conference also featured a look at the Emporia State Economic Index with ESU Director of the Center for Business and Economic Development Marc Fusaro. In addition, Federal Reserve Bank economist Kelly Edmiston and Wichita State Center for Real Estate Director Stan Longhofer had other insights.

KVOE News reporter Devon Swartz contributed to this report.

 

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Last modified on Saturday, 27 October 2018 08:52

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