Indiana is experiencing a record-breaking start to economic development this year, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
The IEDC has announced 173 companies it has worked with so far this year that have made decisions to expand or establish new business in Indiana. The companies plan more than 17,000 new jobs.
That compares to 150 decisions with a projected 11,175 new jobs this time last year.
In addition, the projected job gains are relatively high-paying jobs, with an average of $21.27 per hour, compared to the state’s current average hourly wage of $20.03.
Officials from the IEDC are touting Gov. Mike Pence’s trips to Germany and the United Kingdom as one of the reasons for the economic developments.
In April, for example, the governor met with several German companies, and executives at three of those announced new investments in Indiana during that trip.
Last year, Pence also announced a record number of companies promising to create jobs in the state.
Indiana Business Research Center Director Jerry Conover says the Pence administration’s “proactive” methods have been well received but the generally improving economy also plays a large role.
“The conditions out there are good to try to attract such companies to Indiana,” Conover says, explaining that Indiana’s low-tax rates and other business incentives are attracting companies to the state during a time when they are already looking to expand.
He says until recently it has been difficult to track how many of the predicted jobs were actually created. The IEDC, though, has recently created a new portion of its website to track companies’ promises and actual investments.