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Economist: Shortage of skilled workers curbs Midwest economy

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Posted at 7:41 AM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 08:41:01-05

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- An economist says a monthly survey suggests the economy continued to expand in nine Midwest and Plains states last month but was hampered by shortages of skilled workers.

A survey report issued Monday says the Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped to 54.1 in November from 54.9 in October. The September reading was 57.5.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says that in addition to the hiring problems, the supply managers who responded report mounting harm from tariffs and trade disagreements.

The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.