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Study: Hoosier manufacturing sector shows continued strength

(photo courtesy of Jon Kline/Pixabay)

MUNCIE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A new report from the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University shows Indiana’s manufacturing sector has remained strong over the last year. However, the 2020 Manufacturing and Logistics Scorecard says the state has seen a decline in manufacturing employment.

The university says the scorecard analyzes how each state ranks among its peers in several areas related to manufacturing and logistics, including industry health, human capital, cost of worker benefits, diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, tax climate and global reach.

Indiana maintained its A grade for the manufacturing industry but saw downgrades compared to 2019 in three areas: logistics (dropped from A to B+), global reach (A to B+), and worker benefit costs (B to B-). 

Michael Hicks, director of the Ball State CBER and author of the study, says while the state saw slight downgrades in several categories, its manufacturing and logistics industries are not to blame.

“These are directly caused by two challenges to federal and state policymakers,” Hicks said in a news release. “First, the ongoing trade dispute with China suppressed both our strength in logistics and our global reach. This is because the goods directly affected by tariffs and international retaliation are disproportionately represented by the industry mix in Indiana.”

Hicks says an elimination of tariffs and easing of international tariff retaliation should return Indiana to an A grade. He adds the “extraordinarily high and quickly rising costs of hospital care” caused the decline in worker benefit costs.

You can view Indiana’s scorecard, as well as the national report by clicking here.