Study: Northeast Indiana Showing 'Steady Growth'

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A new report released by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership suggests the business climate in the 10-county region is experiencing a more stable growth pattern. The research looks at factors including expansions, closings and call-backs and shows nearly a dozen new companies located to the area last year. March 12, 2014

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Northeast Indiana has emerged from the recovery phase of the last recession, and the region's economy continues to show steady growth. That's according to results of the annual Business Dynamics Report, released by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership in conjunction with the Community Research Institute at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). The report tracks business events within target industries and major employers in the 10-county Northeast Indiana region, including companies new to the region, expansions, layoffs, closings, downsizings and call-backs.

"2013 was very similar to 2012. That tells us Northeast Indiana has put the recession behind it, and we are moving forward in a more stable pattern of growth," said Ellen Cutter, director of the Community Research Institute (CRI) at IPFW. "We saw big dips in activity during the recession and sharp swings during the recovery. Over the past two years, our activity has leveled off, which we would expect since the economy is getting back to more steady growth."

In 2013, there were 11 new company announcements and 119 expansions. Those figures are nearly identical to the 11 company announcements and 120 expansions in 2012. The report also found nine company closures and one downsizing announcement in 2013, which is comparable to 2012's eight closures and five downsizings.

The results of the Business Dynamics Report are compiled from public announcements, including media, county and state resources. 2013 figures suggest that the region is in a quiet growth phase in which businesses are not likely to announce minor hiring or reduction efforts.

The region has seen a steady two percent increase in employment the past three years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and EMSI, a private data provider. Northeast Indiana has added 6,492, 6,094 and 6,247 jobs in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively.

"As we look ahead, our focus should not just be on the sheer number of jobs the region grows each year, but on good jobs," said John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Our attention should be centered on increasing educational attainment among Northeast Indiana residents in order to bring good, high wage jobs to the region. Attracting these jobs must be made a greater priority if Northeast Indiana is to continue to reverse the decline in its per capita income and advance the region's economy."

The full 2013 Business Dynamics Report can be found in the Resource Center on the Partnership's Vision 2020 website.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership