In his State of the State address last week, Governor Eric Holcomb touted the state’s low unemployment, a big and blooming budget surplus and record economic development numbers in a speech Ball State economist Mike Hicks believes reflects an economy that is keeping pace with the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. “I think the governor deserves high marks for the tone of the speech,” said Hicks. “Low unemployment, good GDP growth, a good recovery overall and a great budget environment…when Indiana is growing as fast as the country as a whole, that’s good news.”

Hicks offered perspective on the speech and the state of the Indiana economy on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

The governor said the state’s economic development efforts in 2021 yielded a record $8.7 million in business investment and commitments for nearly 32,000 jobs, both records for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

“You really have to hand it to the folks at the IEDC,” said Hicks. “Two years that have easily been the toughest in Indiana to attract new jobs and business and they’re rolling out record numbers and at the same time they are doing a lot of other things,”

Hick also pointed to news that Indiana is experiencing population growth, primarily in the Indianapolis metro area, as positive and a byproduct of efforts to grow the state’s talent pipeline. The Governor said from July 2020 to July 2021, more people moved to Indiana that any of the 11 states that make up the Midwest region.

“The focus on quality of place, quality of life, while incomplete, is making a difference,” said Hicks. “The fact that Indiana is growing while Illinois, Michigan and Ohio are not is really an important long- term benefit for the state.”