Why Population Growth Matters to Regional Business Attraction
Top Factor for Business Relocation is Workforce
Northeast Indiana is turning the tide on population growth, and this increase in population is making a large impact on how Northeast Indiana attracts businesses looking to relocate.
In the past decade, Northeast Indiana has collectively lost thousands of workers, but that trend is changing, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Between 2017 and 2018, Northeast Indiana had a net in-migration in of 4,874 people. As Northeast Indiana looks to increase the region’s population from more than 783,000 people to one million people by 2030, this growth is critical to our business development efforts.
To attract business, Northeast Indiana must grow our labor force. According to Forbes, a community's workforce is the most important factor for site selectors.
“A company can receive all the government incentives in the world, but if the right workers aren’t available in the region, then the value of those grants or tax breaks is void due to added costs and resources dedicated to more intensive recruiting,” according to Forbes.
In a recent Journal Gazette article, Rachel Blakeman from the Community Research Institute at Purdue University Fort Wayne shared how an increase in jobs is contributing to an increase in wages. And although Northeast Indiana has not yet come neck-and-neck with the nation’s average wage of $57,198, the region is making an upward turn.
But why are population, employment and wage growth important to Northeast Indiana? While it seems like a pretty simple answer—more people and more jobs equal more revenue for the businesses and individuals that live within the region—on the other hand, the potential impact of population, employment and wage growth is essential to the health of Northeast Indiana as it competes globally for business and talent.
For the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership’s business development team and the 11 local economic development organizations (LEDOs), sharing data on the region’s population increase speaks volumes to potential companies looking to expand into Northeast Indiana.
When the No. 1 reason site selectors pick a new location is available labor, it is critical for Northeast Indiana to continue growing the workforce. To continue this growth, we must continue to increase the population in Northeast Indiana to one million people by 2030.
To learn more about how Northeast Indiana is attracting talent and business, contact Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Chad Ruston.