The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Annual Report: Business & Industry

March 29, 2010

Local income rises slightly with economic transition

ANDERSON­, Ind. — Madison County has managed to eke out steadily increasing per capita income in recent years even as the area has gone through a transformation in what drives the local economy.

Where workers in earlier generations drove the economy by working in the local General Motors plants, younger workers now increasingly drive outside the county for higher-paying jobs.

Jerry Fox, professor of management at Anderson University’s Falls School of Business, said anecdotal observation points to a couple of factors that could be keeping personal income rising, even if at a modest pace.

“We’ve seen a considerable decrease with the loss of General Motors jobs, and that gave us a lower (income) base,” Fox said. “Then those entering the workforce from the area who were looking for employment probably did have to look in neighboring communities.”

Growth of the county’s leading employers, including Anderson University, Saint John’s Health System and Community Hospital, also appear to be drivers keeping average income growing, Fox said.

According to Indiana state government figures, 21.4 percent of the workers who lived in Madison County in 2007 commuted to work outside the county, predominantly to the Indianapolis metro area — Marion and Hamilton counties. That’s up from 18.9 percent in 2000.

Still, more than three-quarters of the workers who live in Madison County also work here, the data show.

Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce President Keith Pitcher said that despite the loss of auto industry jobs, Madison County has been able to hold its own to keep the per capita income levels from declining.

“If we had suffered the job loss here in one short period like some communities had, it would have been much more devastating,” Pitcher said. “It still was devastating, but it happened over a period of years.”

City and business leaders took steps to diversify the local economy, he said. “We took the hit a little earlier and it happened over a longer period of time.”

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Annual Report: Business & Industry
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    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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    There’s no question the demise of Bright Automotive represents a blow to Madison County and the hybrid-electric niche it occupies in the automotive industry. But county economic development officials aren’t willing to let the engineering expertise that existed here with Bright slip away without a fight.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0210 news city council 033.jpg Economic Development director on the lookout for businesses

    As the city’s economic development director, Greg Winkler’s job entails seeking companies that are looking to expand or relocate. He tries to make such companies “give Anderson a hard look.”

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

  • 0119_The Farm Site[1].jpg City wants to bring foreign companies, jobs

    One of last year’s biggest economic development announcements in Anderson was the news that a 72-acre baseball and softball training and competition complex would be built along Interstate 69.

    March 27, 2012 1 Photo

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