State Gets “A” for Manufacturing, Employment Growth Setting Records

State Gets “A” for Manufacturing, Employment Growth Setting Records

Indiana’s manufacturing industry is experiencing the longest expansion of employment in state history, according to the 2018 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card released by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana.

“US manufacturing and logistics are in a remarkable period of expansion,” said CBER Director Michael Hicks, George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business Research. “Here in Indiana, both manufacturing and logistics continue to expand. The logistics industry is tied for the second longest expansion in the past 50 years.”

Indiana earned “A” ratings for manufacturing and industry health, tax climate and global reach, and has maintained those “A” grades year over year since 2009, the first year of the report card. Indiana also earned an “A” in logistics industry health.

“Indiana remains the premier advanced manufacturing and logistics state in the union, and this year’s scorecard reflects that continued expansion,” said J. Mark Howell, president and CEO of Conexus Indiana. “We are excited that the report indicates our industries are in great health. Our annual breakfast event showcased the leadership and technology that is necessary to build on our state’s position as a longtime manufacturing and logistics powerhouse.”

Indiana’s grades slipped from a B to B- in worker benefits and from a B to a C in productivity and innovation, both caused by an expanding economy and a tight labor force. Indiana’s productivity growth has slowed at a greater rate than other states due, in large part, to its concentration of high-tech industries, where swings in productivity are most pronounced. Productivity is impacted by strong growth in manufacturing employment and the influx of new, less productive workers.

As healthcare premiums in Indiana rose, the measure of worker benefits also increased, which negatively impacted that grade in the report card. Tight labor markets brought fewer healthy workers into health plans and increased costs for health and medical care.

The report, released at the Conexus Indiana breakfast event co-hosted with the Indianapolis Business Journal titled, “Advanced Manufacturing and Logistics: Indiana’s Innovation Economy – Exploring Transportation Megatrends”, features an annual scorecard comparison of advanced manufacturing and logistics health among U.S. states. The event showcased a lineup of speakers and panelists talking about the technology driving Indiana’s manufacturing and logistics industries forward.

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