Survey shows growth in local hiring, wages

May 16th, 2013

News Coverage:

Survey shows growth in local hiring, wages

Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:53 am

A new survey shows local companies are hiring employees and boosting wages, with plans to continue both patterns.

The information comes from a wage-and-benefit survey recently completed for the four counties of northeast Indiana.

The DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben county economic development organizations teamed up to offer the survey as service to private-sector employers in the area.

Nearly 90 employers participated in this year’s survey. The organizations said the data can be used to help companies recruit talent and ensure their wages and benefits are competitive with other employers.

The local economic development organizations said they also will use the information to encourage retention and expansion of local industries, as well as marketing the area to businesses.

A news release Thursday said the survey revealed “promising statistics” in the four-county area:

  • 86 percent of the participating companies reported hiring in the last six months, accounting for 1,800 new hires;
  • 57 percent of those surveyed plan to increase employment this year;
  • 35 percent believe they will increase employment in 2014, as well;
  • 90 percent reported wage increases in the last 12 months; and
  • 85 percent plan on increasing wages again next year.

Rick Sherck, executive director of the Noble County Economic Development Corp., developed and offered the first wage-and-benefit survey in 2012 for industries in Noble County, and participation was good, the news release said.

With the four northeast Indiana economic development organizations working together this year, the number of industries participating more than doubled.

“As a result, the statistical data of the survey is stronger. The group is also hopeful that the program will continue to grow as it gains further recognition in 2014,” the release said.

Jeff Griffin, benefits and compensation manager for Group Dekko, described what he sees as benefits of the survey.

“The Four County Wage and Benefit Survey is a key tool for Group Dekko in making sure that we stay competitive with our compensation and benefit program so that we can attract and retain quality employees,” Griffin said in the news release.

The cost of conducting and tabulating the survey was partially underwritten by five sponsors: Indiana Michigan Power, Wabash Valley Power, NIPSCO, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and the Northeast Indiana Workforce Investment Board.

More information on the survey is available from the local economic development offices:

  • DeKalb County Economic Development Partnership: 927-1180, Ken McCrory, executive director;
  • LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation: 499-4994, Keith Gillenwater, president and CEO;
  • Noble County Economic Development Corporation: 636-3800, Rick Sherck, executive director;
  • Steuben County Economic Development Corporation: 665-688, David Koenig, executive director
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