At the midway point in the year, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. (IECD) announced that it has worked with 148 companies that have made decisions to expand or establish new business operations in Indiana for a total of more than 11,700 projected new jobs. According to a press release, this compares to 142 decisions by companies to locate a projected 13,299 new jobs in the state at this time last year.
The new positions, which companies anticipate hiring over the next five years, pay an expected average hourly wage of $21.73, above the state’s current hourly wage of $19.82. The 148 companies anticipate investing $1.37 billion in their Indiana operations in the coming years. Meanwhile, the average amount of state conditional tax incentives offered to companies on a per job basis is $9,274, down from around $37,000 in 2004. Under the IEDC, state incentives are activated only when Hoosiers are hired.
“These strong results reinforce many things we already know: Indiana is a low-cost, business-friendly place for companies to conduct business and create jobs,” said Victor Smith, secretary of commerce. “More good news is on the horizon for companies. Following this year’s legislative session, the largest state tax cut in Indiana history was enacted, further distinguishing Indiana as a state that works for business.”
As the state with the largest percentage of manufacturing jobs in the country, Indiana continues to be a place where manufacturing companies find the talent and resources they need for success. Driven by companies like Chrysler Group and Subaru of Indiana Automotive and the heart of the RV industry, the Hoosier State has welcomed commitments of nearly 6,000 new jobs and more than $996 million in capital investment from manufacturing companies thus far in 2013.
“With Indiana’s sound stat sheet, it’s easy to see why more and more corporate leaders are recognizing the many advantages of doing business here,” said Smith. “Under the leadership of Governor Mike Pence, our business-friendly policies and fiscal stability position Indiana to continue to receive positive reviews from CEOs and bring more opportunities and investment to all corners of the Hoosier State.”
Indiana saw a record-breaking 27,600 new jobs announced over the last year, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp., and Elkhart County was a big beneficiary with 2,700 of those jobs.
As reported by The Elkhart Truth, some of those jobs are already here and some will be phased in this year and next. A total of $120 million will be invested in real estate and equipment as part of those jobs announcements, said Dorinda Heiden-Guss, president of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County.
The average wage in Elkhart County – home to the RV industry’s manufacturing hub – is about $18.01 an hour, and the local economic development corporation worked on projects paying from $12 an hour to $40 an hour in 2012, Heiden-Guss said. The average on the new jobs is about $20.41, she said.
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An associate professor of finance at the University of Indianapolis says he doesn’t believe many Indiana metro areas will ever return to pre-recession job levels, according to a report on Inside INdiana Business.
Matt Will says there isn’t enough private investment in most areas to spur significant job growth.
Will’s comments are in response to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors that predicts seven Indiana metro areas will not return to peak employment until after 2020, including Elkhart-Goshen, home to the recreation vehicle industry’s manufacturing hub. Will says economic indicators are almost impossible to predict eight years out.
The report predicted Anderson, Elkhart-Goshen, Kokomo, Michigan City-LaPorte, Muncie, South Bend-Mishawaka and Terre Haute would not recover the jobs lost in the recession until after 2020.
Will says much of the economic growth happening right now is coming through public projects. He says until private investment increases in the same way, it will be difficult for many areas to approach pre-recession job levels.
Corporate optimism is growing among Indiana’s CEO’s, senior executives and business owners. The results of “The State of Our Business: A Perspective from Indiana Executives” survey shows the highest level of confidence since the annual report from the Butler University College of Business, Ice Miller LLP and Inside INdiana Business launched in 2007.
The project partners identified 4,443 CEOs and other executive officers as potential respondents. Of those contacted, 768 responded to a comprehensive online survey designed by the Butler University College of Business.
The survey addressed several themes to examine in greater detail including: CEO challenges and issues; Indiana’s economic climate; the state’s role in economic development; human resources and workforce issues; Indiana’s education system; and planning, managing and assessing information technology.
“The 2011 survey of Indiana CEOs and executives showed some differences from the 2010 survey,” stated Gerry Dick, president of Grow INdiana Media Ventures LLC and host of Inside INdiana Business. “Compared to neighboring states, Indiana CEOs and executives expressed optimism about the overall business environment and economic incentives for businesses in 2011.”
Indicators that the economy is improving include fewer business leaders intending to pursue outsourcing, but rather planning to add jobs in 2011.
“Once again, Indiana business leaders continue to move forward in a challenging business climate,” noted Phillip Bayt, chief managing partner, Ice Miller. “According to the survey, it appears that major staff reductions may be in the past and a brighter outlook on available funding opportunities may position companies for further growth.”
“This year’s CEO survey found that health care costs and how health care will be funded continues to be a concern that executives feel negatively impacts their businesses and the economy,” said Bill O’Donnell, director of graduate programs, Butler University College of Business. “With five years of data, we can start tracking trends and see the direction CEOs view the state’s economy to be moving and how legislation at the federal level impacts businesses in Indiana.”
Study highlights from 2011 include the following:
• Corporate reputation continues to be the most important business issue while growing internally is the least important. This may be an artifact of the survey being over-represented by small companies.
• Health care costs have risen in importance since the introduction of major health care reform legislation.
• Adding jobs has increased slightly while reducing jobs has decreased significantly.
• Cost of living is still seen as the strongest advantage that Indiana has over neighboring states.
• CEOs believe that private and public funds inside Indiana are significantly more available than in 2011. They further believe that the state is better able to encourage business growth than in 2010.
• Indiana CEOs and executives continue to be concerned, in 2011 much more so, about the availability of non-skilled workers relative to the demand in the state. This year’s survey has a greater number of large companies represented and this opinion may be a result of this representation.
• Large companies indicated they are more likely to add full-time employees in the coming year.
• CEOs and executives expressed opinions that technology moves too quickly to keep staff current, that they must outsource most of their IT work and that off-site backups are a necessity.
The project partners will continue to benchmark the results from the 2011 survey and monitor, discuss and analyze the state’s progress. A full summary of the report can be found online at: www.inceosurvey.com.
Indiana’s economy appears to be among the strongest of all states as the nation continues to recover from the recession, according to a report on InsideINdianaBusiness.com.
Figures from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis show Indiana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 4.6% in 2010, compared to the national rate of 2.6%. That’s the third highest growth rate in the U.S., behind North Dakota and New York.
Indiana’s 2010 GDP growth outpaced all neighboring states, including Michigan, which is regarding the new figures as positive news. The Detroit Free Press reports Michigan’s 2.9% increase during the past year is being considered by economists as a clear sign the state’s deep recession is over.
Even though Indiana’s economic expansion is among the national pacesetters, there is still work to do as the recovery takes hold.
The state’s unemployment rate is hovering around 8%, although it has dropped below the national mark for the first time since June 2003. The May unemployment numbers are due June 17.
Thanks in no small part to hirings in the RV industry this year in northern Indiana, job growth in the Hoosier state is receiving national attention. The Wall Street Journal reports the state has experienced the largest percentage increase in jobs over the past year. The 1.9% increase is due mainly to an increase in manufacturing jobs.
The article follows last week’s release of the state’s May unemployment report, which showed Indiana’s jobless rate remained at 10%.
It also indicated private sector employers throughout the state recorded 6,3000 additional jobs in May.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) also says total private sector employment has increased 2.1% since December, with a total gain of 47,900 jobs.
DWD says that accounts of 10% of total U.S. private sector job growth over the past five months. The state is home to approximately 2% of the nation’s population.
Don’t gasp, but Indiana is leading the nation in employment growth, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
The rising number of job seekers, however, resulted in the state’s April unemployment rate inching back up to double digits – 10%.
But that statistic isn’t significant, officials say, when you consider that March’s jobless figure of 9.9% is just an increase of 0.1 percentage point.
“We’re definitely not satisfied, though,” said Marc Lotter, communications director for the Department of Workforce Development.
“Obviously, we want to see the unemployment number go down, but we are tied with Washington, D.C., for job creation and we’re pleased; … although we’re not where we want to be yet. We still have work to do.”
Indiana has added nearly 42,000 positions since the year began.
Teresa Voors, commissioner of the department, said Friday the gains basically recoup jobs lost over the past year.
Still, she said Indiana accounts for just 2% of America’s population but has “7% of the job growth.”
In April, the state added 22,700 jobs, the biggest month-to-month improvement in more than a decade.
On Friday, Gov. Mitch Daniels said he too realizes Indiana has much ground to make up in terms of jobs, but “we just have to hope that these gains will repeat month after month and perhaps strengthen.”
Elkhart County’s jobless rate fell 1.1 percentage points in April, to 14.1%, but it remained the highest rate in Indiana, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development reported today (May 21).
It has fallen nearly 5 percentage points since standing at 18.9% in April 2009.
The cities of Elkhart and Goshen stood at No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in terms of the highest rates for cities in the state. Their rates were 16.6% and 13.1%, respectively.
The county’s economy is highly dependent upon the RV industry, which produces nearly 70% of the nation’s RVs.
Indiana’s state rate was 10% in April, up from 9.9% in March.