Indiana near top for jobs, medical manufacturing

Indiana near top for jobs, medical manufacturing

The Brookings Institution’s national report ranks Indiana third among all states in total share of employment tied to advanced industries.

February 19, 2015
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Indianapolis, Indiana – Indianapolis continues to drive a nationally competitive range of opportunities for regional growth and innovation in life sciences and motor vehicle parts manufacturing, as well as in the service areas of computer systems design, architecture and engineering, and management, scientific, and technical consulting. These findings come from a new study from Brookings Institution, “America’s Advanced Industries Why They Are, Where They Are and Why They Matter.”

The Brookings study analyzed 50 advanced industries, defined to be industries that invest heavily in technology innovation (more than $450 per worker), employ a workforce highly skilled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and also "encompass the country's best shot at supporting innovative, inclusive and sustainable growth."

Under the Brookings definition, Indianapolis is producing more than the national average with fewer people.* Overall, Indianapolis ranks eleventh (out of 100 metropolitan areas) with an output of $25.2 billion and a workforce of 91,000 within the defined "advanced industries" sector. The study also shows that out of the selected areas, computer systems design is growing the most with a 10% increase in employment between 2010 and 2013; management, scientific and technical consulting saw a 7% bump over the same time frame.

"The Brookings' data provide us with an interesting framework and excellent analysis of what new economy sectors are growing and where, and gives a call to action to increase production and innovation in these areas so that the U.S. and its metro areas stay competitive on the global stage," David L. Johnson, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, said. "CICP's sector initiative areas are, in many ways, ahead of the game. Our agriculture innovation, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, energy technology, and information technology initiatives are uniquely aligned and primed to take advantage of these and other hot areas of skilled and high-wage opportunity growth. We will continue to find ways to build on them through our public, private, government and philanthropic collaborations."

Rounding out the top ten areas in Indianapolis are: medical equipment and supplies, aircraft products and parts, medical and diagnostic laboratories, power generation, and supply, and research and development services.

As a state, Indiana also fares well in the new Brookings report. It ranks third among all states for employment share, with the top five areas of: motor vehicle parts, motor vehicle body and trailers, computer systems design, iron and steel products and medical equipment and supplies. Three mid-sized metropolitan areas in Indiana are noted for specializing in advanced manufacturing: Columbus (#1 in the U.S.), Elkhart (#2), and Kokomo (#3). And the report finds Indiana as one of only seven states (and one of only two in the Midwest) whose share of advanced industry employment exceeds 10% of all state jobs.

"Our research makes clear that Indiana is no longer just a manufacturing province; the state's metropolitan economies are increasingly diversified, with material, digital, and genomic specializations all at once," Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the lead author of the new research, said.

"Dynamic technologies are converging in the world now and that is happening also in Indiana, for the good," Muro added.

Within the life sciences category, under the Brookings advanced industry analysis, both the state and Indianapolis boast particular strength in the areas of medical equipment and supplies, pharmaceuticals, and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Such findings are consistent with life sciences sector data compiled by BioCrossroads, which issued its annual snapshot of Indiana’s life sciences industry on February 4, 2015.** According to 2013 data, life sciences exports accounted for $9.8 billion (nearly one-third of Indiana’s total exports), the second highest number in the U.S. (behind only California), exporting $175,000 of products per worker. The state had a life sciences workforce of more than 56,000, an increase of over 1,000 from the previous year, with an average salary of more than $90,000. This combination of jobs, exports and local research, development and manufacturing activities contributes a $59 billion total life sciences impact for the state’s economy, according to BioCrossroads.

The Brookings Institution full report and additional data are available here.

About Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP)
The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) was formed in 1999 to bring together the chief executives of Central Indiana’s prominent corporations, foundations, and university presidents in a strategic and collaborative effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To advance this mission, CICP sponsors five key economic development initiatives, AgriNovus Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana, Energy Systems Network, and TechPoint, each of which addresses challenges and opportunities unique to its respective sector: agriculture innovation, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, energy technology and information technology. To learn more about CICP, visit

*Brookings data is from 2013.

**Life sciences data, generated by the Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business and BioCrossroads, is from 2013, the most recent available.

Source: Central Indiana Corporate Partnership