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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, November 09, 2017 1:00 am

State praises job creation

At 12-year high for employers that use development agency

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Job creation announcements in Indiana hit a 12-year high in 2017, the state's top official said Wednesday.

Businesses working with the Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced plans to create up to 28,846 new jobs in coming years, Gov. Eric Holcomb said during a news conference in Indianapolis.

The IEDC, which was established in 2005, offers tax breaks, worker training and other incentives to qualified companies investing in new or expanded operations in Indiana.

It's unknown how many jobs announcements were made in the state in prior years, how many jobs were created without IEDC participation and how many jobs were eliminated in Indiana during the same 11 months. It's also impossible to predict how many of the promised jobs won't materialize in coming years because of changes in competition, economic conditions or other reasons.

Holcomb didn't allow the unknowns to dim the celebration.

“Indiana's pro-business environment continues to be heard around the world as Hoosier businesses grow and companies across the world choose Indiana,” he said in a statement.

“In 2018, we will take Indiana to the next level with an unwavering focus on the issues that matter most to Hoosiers and our state's vitality,” Holcomb said in a news release.

The IEDC has received 270 job creation commitments from companies in diverse industries, officials said. Hourly wages for the promised jobs average $27.38, or almost $57,000 a year. Wages average $21.52 an hour for existing Indiana jobs.

Among the notable trends were:

• Manufacturing accounted for 47 percent of new job commitments.

• Technology-related jobs comprised almost 33 percent of the promised jobs.

• Logistics companies planned to invest more than $343 million.

• Foreign investment accounted for 34 of the announcements.

IEDC officials also worked with entrepreneurs who launched 222 businesses and counseled 751 existing small businesses.