Indiana Cracks Top 10 in Forbes Best States For Business Rankings

Posted: Updated:

Forbes recently released its annual ranking of the best states for business. Indiana cracked the top ten coming in at 10th for 2017. Forbes analyzed approximately 40 metrics spanning six category groupings:

  • Business costs;
  • Labor supply;
  • Regulatory environment;
  • Economic climate;
  • Growth prospects, and;
  • Quality of life.

Not surprising, many of the "usual suspects" show up in the best and worst states. The South is well represented in the top ten, while East coast states show up four times in list of bottom ten states.

Top Ten States

1. North Carolina

2. Texas

3. Utah

4. Nebraska

5. Virginia

6. Georgia

7. Florida

8. Colorado

9. North Dakota

10. Indiana

Bottom Ten States  

41. Alabama

42. Connecticut

43. Rhode Island

44. Hawaii

45. Mississippi

46. Maine

47. New Mexico

48. Vermont

49. Alaska

50. West Virginia

Please find below a summary of how Indiana ranked amongst the 50 states in the six categories utilized in this year's study.

1.  Business Costs: 12th

2.  Labor Supply: 45th

3.  Regulatory Environment: 1st

4.  Economic Climate: 23rd

5.  Growth Prospects: 18th

6.  Quality of Life Rank: 4th 

Generally speaking, the grades given to Indiana are not surprising.  The state has continued to implement steps to enhance its business and regulatory environment.  By cutting taxes, streamlining the regulatory process and investing heavily in infrastructure, Indiana has demonstrated that it is “open for business” and wants to support growing companies.

In addition, Indiana’s significant investments in quality of place initiatives and low cost of living have improved the state’s quality of life and growth prospects.  The state should continue its investments in quality of place assets by taking the best components of the Regional Cities Initiatives and incorporating more rural communities into the process, to maximize the opportunities for all Hoosiers. 

The area where the state continues to receive low marks relates to its workforce.  Indiana does not fare well on a national basis in the areas of educational attainment, certifications/credentials held by adults in the workforce and adults in the workforce pursuing continuing education. 

Governor Holcomb and legislative leaders have identified the issue of talent development as the number one priority for Indiana.  Governor Holcomb’s creation of a Cabinet-level position, Secretary of Career Connections and Talent, and the selection of Blair Milo to serve in that role, is a promising development for the state. 

Indiana has been recognized as a leader in K – 12 education reform during the past 10 years.  The state’s focus in this area was greatly needed in order to begin to fix an underperforming education system impacting urban, rural and suburban communities.  While we have great momentum in this area, there is still work ahead.

The area that we need to become more aggressive in relates to adults already in the workforce that do not have the requisite skills to compete as effectively in the ever changing global economy.  At a time when unemployment rates are low and wages are increasing, Indiana must “triple down” on the issue of talent development and implement (including funding) transformative programs as other states (Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee, etc.) in the United States have done in recent years.

The state’s challenge of adapting to the continually changing global economy has impacted the make-up of the business community in Indiana.  Part of this issue ties to our larger share of manufacturing as compared to most of the United States.  Also, the changing behavior of consumers in terms of spending has had an impact on the overall economy in the state.  These things are not going away, so we need to continue transform ourselves.

In summary, Indiana's ranking relative to the country is very good.  Policy makers in the state should focus on ways to improve our weaknesses and capitalize on our strengths in order to maximize economic opportunity for everyone in Indiana.  Due to the fact that Indiana is not generally a location for large headquarters companies, we need to continue to focus on growing entrepreneurs and small and mid-sized businesses that will continue to be the lifeblood of the state's economic growth.

Larry Gigerich serves as Executive Managing Director of Ginovus.

  • Perspectives

    • Job Insights For The Third Quarter

      To provide accurate and timely employment forecasts for business leaders, Express Employment Professionals International Headquarters conducts an ongoing Job Insights survey to track quarterly hiring trends across a wide range of industries. Express surveyed business owners, decision makers, and human resource professionals about the overall hiring trends in their markets and how they impact their hiring decisions. Overall confidence remains high going into the second half of 2018.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Purdue Professor, Wife Indicted For Fraud

      A Purdue University professor and his wife have been indicted on federal fraud charges. U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch's office says Qingyou Han and Lu Shao are accused of hatching a scheme to defraud the National Science Foundation. 

    • Walmart Details Crawfordsville Layoffs

      Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is reducing workforce at the Walmart Optical Lab in Crawfordsville. In a notice to the state, the company said 108 employees will be out of work by the end of September. A corporate spokeswoman told Inside INdiana Business the decision was a response to "changing business needs." She added "we are making adjustments at our Walmart Optical Labs in Crawfordsville to help ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right time."

    • How to Attract and Keep Top Millennial Talent

      At a time when Indiana’s unemployment rate is at its lowest level in more than 14 years, Hoosier companies have to up the ante to attract talent. You want the best, the brightest and most innovative individuals joining your team, and many of these workers are just now entering the workforce.

    • The Impact of Technology on Economic Development Policy

      In a world where technology is enabling almost everything, economic development policy makers are faced with several challenges when planning and implementing strategies for economic growth. Communities, regions and states must be able to adapt programs and initiatives to address the economic disruption caused by technology. In particular, investments in tech and talent are vital to ensuring economic growth and wealth creation for residents and businesses throughout the world.

    • Ivy Tech Predicting Student Performance With Big Data

      The largest post-secondary education system in the state is using big data to try to predict success or failure of students. Ivy Tech Community College Chief Technology Officer Lige Hensley says the school's Project Early Success program has shown 83 percent accuracy in predicting students' 16-week performance three weeks into a term through behavior pattern analysis. Hensley says Ivy Tech is pulling in about 100 million rows of data per day through its efforts.