BEDFORD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Economic development officials in southern Indiana say the region has shown resiliency during the pandemic and is optimistic about its recovery. Bedford-based Radius Indiana says the average unemployment rate in December for the eight counties in its organization was 3%, while the statewide unemployment rate was 4.3%
The organization says the pandemic’s impact on Radius counties was uneven. While defense and manufacturing-dense counties saw a “very slight increase” in unemployment over the course of the year, counties with tourism-dependent economies suffered more significant job losses.
“We’re proud of the resiliency our communities and businesses have shown over the past year. This sustained growth demonstrates the potential our region has for economic success, especially when the pandemic is over,” said Radius President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Quyle.
Quyle says a wages and benefits survey conducted for Radius shows many regional employers expect to add workers over the next 12 months. The survey also found that 77% of employers are planning pay raises in the next 12 months.
Quyle says the organization has invested $4.4 million over the past five years to support infrastructure and overall economic development improvements, such as improvements at airports, water retention efforts, and downtown developments.
Radius board members say the investment is paying off.
“Radius’s continued support of Washington County and our neighbors have played a crucial role in sustaining our economies,” said Justin Green, who represents Washington County on the Radius board. “Their investment, specifically in infrastructure and economic development throughout the region, has created jobs and opportunities that have prevented larger unemployment rates.”