Labor Operations

Labor + Operating Costs

Operating costs are low in Northeast Indiana and support a range of businesses, from homegrown entrepreneurs like Sweetwater Sound and Vera Bradley to the region’s largest automotive manufacturer, General Motors.

With one of the nation’s top tax climates and best regulatory environments, Northeast Indiana has worked together to create a setting for success in Fort Wayne and surrounding counties. Paired with an affordable labor force of both skilled and educated workers, as well as below-average operating costs, Northeast Indiana is a top location for those looking to relocate or expand their business.

Business-Friendly Regulatory Environment

In 2012, Indiana became the first state in more than a decade to pass right-to-work legislation. This allows for greater freedom for businesses by increasing the economic opportunities in an increasingly globalized, competitive marketplace.

Skilled, Educated Workforce

Northeast Indiana combines an innovative, forward-thinking approach with a Midwestern work ethic to create a talent formula that is unparalleled anywhere in the U.S.

  • Northeast Indiana’s higher education institutions produce 8,500 graduates annually from programs related to the region’s target sectors – and they make sure that talent is coming to you.
  • The region boasts a wide array of career and technical programs, including the Northeast Indiana Colleges and Universities Network, a consortium of 10 institutions harnessing their collective 40,000 enrolled students to feed to the specific talent needs of companies to create custom training programs.
  • In addition to quickly reaching private industry, there are more than 200,000 graduates from Tier 1 and Tier 2 universities within 200 miles of Northeast Indiana, with major universities like Notre Dame, Purdue University, Indiana University, Michigan State University and The Ohio State University all nearby.

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Looking to expand or relocate your business? Contact us today and let's find a fit for your business's growth.


Creating an environment that’s good for business is something Indiana takes seriously. Due to legislation in 2011, Indiana’s corporate income tax rate fell by 2 percent. This was the continuation of a scheduled multiyear reduction, which will ultimately see the corporate income tax rate reduced to 4.9 percent by 2022, making Indiana’s the second-lowest corporate tax rate of any state levying the tax.

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Infrastructure + Utilities

Northeast Indiana’s geographic position and multimodal connection to major markets make it a principal “hub to the Midwest.” Northeast Indiana’s central location makes Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Indianapolis reachable within a three-hour drive. Northeast Indiana has an excess water supply and a highly reliable business infrastructure system from utilities to roads to ports.

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Employment & Wages

The money saved on operating costs, including wages, is often a powerful deciding factor for businesses looking to call Northeast Indiana home.



Occupation 2020 Jobs 2020 Average Hourly Earnings Region/US
Production Occupations 66,986 $19.19 99.3%
Office and Administrative Support Occupations 44,513 $18.13 91.9%
Sales and Related Occupations 36,869 $19.88 90.4%
Transportation and Material Moving 36,568 $16.71 89.1%
Food Preparation and Serving Related 31,869 $11.46 89.3%
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations 21,358 $36.97 90.5%
Management Occupations 19,247 $44.11 80.3%
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Occupations 18,899 $22.41 93.6%
Construction and Extraction Occupations 18,403 $22.16 90.4%
Educational Instruction and Library Occupations 18,087 $22.19 80.4%
Healthcare Support Occupations 14,415 $14.24 94.9%
Business and Financial Operations Occupations 14,206 $32.08 83.2%
Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance Occupations 12,210 $13.24 86.5%
Personal Care and Service Occupations 9,384 $12.37 82.2%
Community and Social Service Occupations 7,444 $21.30 86.8%
Architecture and Engineering Occupations 7,350 $35.76 83.4%
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations 5,902 $23.03 75.4%
Computer and Mathematical Occupations 5,888 $34.83 77.9%
Protective Service Occupations 5,635 $20.83 86.5%
Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Occupations 2,449 $14.25 92.5%
Legal Occupations 1,710 $52.73 96.7%
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations 1,572 $33.50 87.9%

Source: Emsi 2020.4; QCEW, non-QCEW and Self-employed (2021 Q4 Data will be released on 10/29/2021)

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