INDIANAPOLIS - Statistics released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest Indiana posted the ninth-highest average wage growth in the United States from 2016-2017. Overall, the state ranks 34th in average wage, but University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Finance Matt Will says "that is only the starting point." He says, when cost of living and cost of housing numbers are factored in, Indiana fares much better.

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Will said he believes the state shouldn't get involved in trying to raise wages. He says, in other states, whenever the government gets involved, they end up creating a wage gap.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows Indiana's average annual wage grew from $44,750 in 2016 to $46,424 in 2017. Indiana's 3.74 percent increase ranks ninth in the nation. The state ranks 34th overall, up one spot from 2016.

Will says research he did for for then-Governor Mitch Daniels in 2012 and updated in 2015 shows Indiana ranked 20th in the nation in 2015 when cost of living is factored in, and ninth when cost of housing is included. He says it's also important to look at disposable income, rather than just wages. Because Indiana is a low-tax environment, Will says, disposable income is higher. He suggests Hoosiers looking at the report should remember what Daniels told him when he asked for the research - while the data may look bad, "it doesn't feel bad."