Groundbreaking statewide research project examining Indiana’s economy and workforce will provide recommendations for improved economic future

November 19, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 19, 2020) — The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP) is coordinating a groundbreaking statewide research project about the condition of Indiana’s economy and workforce, including the impact of COVID-19 and how regional economies are faring.

The Indiana GPS Project is a series of multi-dimensional reports on Indiana’s economy. It is designed to inform public policy and business priorities that will spur economic growth, including recommendations about how to increase the number of good jobs available to Hoosiers. The research project, which began in August 2019, is being spearheaded by CICP and conducted in collaboration with Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

Four reports will be issued between November 2020 and the beginning of 2021. And a new website  (www.indianagpsproject.com), which includes some key state and regional data about job growth, productivity, and advanced industries strengths, goes live today.

Brookings’ research focuses on an assessment of the state’s advanced industries, which are R&D and STEM-worker intensive industries that include many manufacturers, service providers, and life sciences and tech companies throughout the state. The research includes an evaluation of the health of Indiana’s regional labor markets and job quality, as well as an early look at the troubling impact of COVID-19 on Indiana’s economy and workforce.

Early findings from the research indicate that Indiana has added jobs at a higher rate than neighboring states, but most of these jobs have been of relatively low quality. From 2007 to 2017, Indiana saw the creation of more than 181,000 new low-paying jobs, while losing nearly 104,000 middle-wage jobs.

Meanwhile, other preliminary findings suggest that Indiana has lost ground to other states in production of goods and services in the advanced industries sector. This factor is troubling given that these industries disproportionally drive the state’s economy.

“We’re at a critical point in Indiana’s history for many reasons,” said David L. Johnson, president and CEO of CICP. “We still have great possibilities for growth and greater prosperity, but we are going to have to work very hard—and all together—to realize them.  Adding to the urgency of the moment, the pandemic’s impact on the economy and workforce have been significant in their own right and have magnified challenges we have been facing for many years. Unfortunately, COVID-19’s economic fall-out is not yet in our rearview mirror.

“This new research, and the website that provides easy access to reports and data, give civic, business  and educational leaders in all of Indiana’s 92 counties some powerful new tools to work with in meeting these challenges,” said Johnson. “We will, in many places for the first time, have an authoritative set of data that will give us insights into many aspects of the economy and workforce of every region in Indiana. There is much to do, but we are going to have a far better sense of both where we are starting, and what we need to accomplish, thanks to this unprecedented, collaborative and enormous project.”

During the course of the year, the CICP and Brookings teams have held more than 20 meetings with business, educational, community, and government leaders across the state. Through these sessions, CICP and Brookings have reached some 350 stakeholders to share workforce and economic data specific to their regions, to garner input about these findings, and to solicit additional feedback to inform the research project.

In addition to its contribution to the main research project, AEI will release three additional reports this week focused on Indiana’s demography, a civic and community life survey, and an analysis of Indiana’s Opportunity Zones and related investment opportunities.

Brookings scholars will develop a series of policy and strategy recommendations to help Indiana address the challenges revealed by the research. These recommendations, which will draw upon and align with key findings from the AEI research, are expected to be published in early 2021.

This interconnected series of data, research and reports for the Indiana GPS Project were made possible by a grant to the CICP Foundation from Lilly Endowment Inc.

For more information on the Indiana GPS Project, visit www.indianagpsproject.com.

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 universities in a strategic and collaborative effort dedicated to the region’s continued prosperity and growth. To advance this mission, CICP sponsors six key talent and industry sector initiatives, AgriNovus Indiana, Ascend Indiana, BioCrossroads, Conexus Indiana, Energy Systems Network and TechPoint, each of which addresses challenges and opportunities unique to its respective area: agbiosciences, talent and workforce development, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and logistics, energy technology and technology. To learn more about CICP, visit www.cicpindiana.com.