Indiana Ranks High on Manufacturing Scorecard

Nationally manufacturing is faring well says Ball State University study.

Indiana is the sixth best state for manufacturing and logistics in the country, according to two new reports from Ball State University. In the 2008 National Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, Indiana is listed behind Missouri, Utah, Florida, Alabama and North Dakota. The 2008 State of the Industry Report also found that Hoosier manufacturing firms are outperforming the nation's industrial stock indices, and manufacturing and logistics productivity growth remains strong.

"Indiana is one of the best places for manufacturing in the nation," said Michael Hicks, director of Ball State's Bureau of Business Research. "In recent years, state leadership has developed policies to attract and retain these industries. Our neighboring states have not been able to keep up with us in this regard."

At the bottom of the list were New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maine and West Virginia.

The ranking evaluates 20 categories, including property taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance, corporate taxes, crime and percentage of the population who are college graduates.

The 2008 State of the Industry Report found that 2007 was a record year for American manufacturers with inflation-adjusted values higher than in any previous year. Nationally, growth in the production of goods continues to be robust. Even in the final quarter of 2007, as the national economy slowed, industrial production rose at an annual rate of 2.8%.

The report also found that workers have enjoyed wage growth over the past decade. In inflation-adjusted dollars, wages rose 26% over the decade ending in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Manufacturing employment in the U.S. peaked in the late 1970s with more than 19.5 million manufacturing workers. That figure has declined to roughly 13.8 million as of early 2008.

Hicks points out that these job losses are overwhelmingly due to increasing productivity in manufacturing operations and the continuing trend of larger firms to outsource for non-core operations. Together, these two factors have led to a smaller, more productive and better paid labor force, which is more concentrated on the production aspects within manufacturing firms.

To view the report click here.

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