Dismal employment reports continue to trickle from our nation's capital, but the Hoosier economy is barreling full steam ahead. Throughout the past few months, we've seen key indicators that show state and local efforts to support low-tax, pro-growth policies are paying off as more companies make Indiana their home.
In April, Indiana led the nation in private sector job growth, creating six times more jobs than the national average. In May, Chief Executive magazine named Indiana the best state in the Midwest and the fifth best state in the country for doing business. In the four months since the General Assembly passed our state's first Right to Work law, twelve companies have pledged to bring more than 900 jobs and $199 million in new investment to Indiana.
To top it off, our state unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since 2008.
Homegrown Hoosier businesses know Indiana's central location, sound economic development policies and skilled labor force provide enough fodder for even the most successful, global ventures – just ask Eli Lily, Cummins Inc. or Dow AgroSciences. Now, such factors are turning the heads of established, multinational companies like Amazon, which recently chose southern Indiana as its next expansion site.
This May, the Indiana Economic Development Cooperation launched "100 Reasons Indiana," a detailed list of reasons businesses benefit from setting up shop in our state. When examining the list, a few central themes emerge.
First, government in Indiana is successfully providing the infrastructure necessary to attract innovative companies and support in-state investment. Taxes are falling and so is red tape.
•Reason #9: We write legislation that works for businesses. The 2006 Telecommunications Deregulation Act made Indiana a national leader in telecom reform by increasing competition. The result was lower prices, new investments and new jobs.
•Reason #79: Lots of things are produced in Indiana but red tape isn't one of them. For example, the average BMV transaction time in Indiana in 2011 was just 7 minutes, 12 seconds.
•Reason #98: In recent years, Indiana has cut property taxes by more than 30 percent and corporate income taxes by nearly 25 percent.
Second, our colleges are graduating top-tier workers, prepared for 21st century employment.
•Reason #5: Indiana ranks 3rd in the U.S. in its quotient of skilled life sciences workers.
•Reason #19: U.S. News and World Report rated Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, in Terre Haute, first among colleges that offer engineering as their top degree.
Third, tomorrow's jobs are already taking root in our communities.
•Reason #2: From 2002 to 2009, nearly 9,000 new jobs were added to the $44 billion life sciences sector. That's an increase of more than 21%.
•Reason #40: In the past few years, Indiana has increased its wind energy capacity ten-fold, making it one of the country's fastest-growing states for alternative energy generation.
Talented educators, dedicated entrepreneurs and prudent lawmakers are effectively positioning Indiana to lead the nation in economic growth – not only now, but far into the future. Our state is truly a great place to live and do business.