Recent reports seem to indicate that Indiana has weathered the recession and is near the vanguard of the economic recovery – while too many Hoosiers are still unemployed or underemployed, and facing other financial hardships, we’re further along than many of our neighbors.
Most recently, the Wall Street Journal reports that Indiana leads the nation in private sector job creation in 2010. Department of Workforce Development data confirms that the state has added nearly 50,000 new jobs since December – one of every ten positions created in the U.S. happened here, with manufacturing and ‘professional services’ leading the way.
At the regional level, the Brookings Institute places the Indianapolis metropolitan area in its “second-strongest” tier in its ongoing measurement of the economic performance of the 100 largest metros in the U.S. Our relatively low unemployment, stable housing prices and strong Gross Metropolitan Product growth put us in good stead, ahead of most of Midwestern areas. While St. Louis and Columbus (OH) joined Indianapolis in the ‘second strongest’ category, Louisville, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Nashville found themselves in the middle tier. Chicago, Detroit and Dayton slipped into the bottom levels.
The numbers are heartening, and there’s also cause for optimism ahead. Indiana continues to boast the most business-friendly tax climate in the Midwest – as the recovery gathers steam, we’ll be among the most attractive destinations for new investment. Indiana also made an impressive jump in venture capital investment over the past year, climbing from 41st to 20th in VC investment per capita. This says great things about our ability to grow our own new companies and diversify our economy moving forward.
Clearly, Indiana still has many hurdles to overcome – strengthening our workforce and closing the income gap that continues to plague Hoosiers, to name just two – but we seem to have positioned ourselves to take advantage of the economic comeback that’s starting to take hold across the country.