Life can be unpredictable. That is a reality we all face at one point or another. From an early age, we begin to understand that part of being an adult is financially preparing not only for what we know is coming, but also that which we cannot even begin to expect. However, we often make the mistake of not holding our local, state and federal government officials to the same standards.
When you and I sit down to develop our monthly budget, while it can be complex, the general idea is pretty simple. We cannot spend more money than we bring in. Whatever is not spent on meeting our obligations, we ideally set aside to build our nest-egg. I believe that government should operate in the same manner.
By operating under these principles in 2013, the Indiana General Assembly was able to pass a balanced budget that also put money in our rainy-day fund and cut taxes. As we were advocating for this budget package and soon after it was successfully enacted, we talked a great deal about the positive impact this would have on the business environment in Indiana.
More than a year later, I am pleased to share that we are already seeing these positive results. Earlier this month, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) announced that so far this year, it has worked with 173 companies that have made decisions to expand or establish new business operations in Indiana. These companies are estimated to bring more than 17,000 new jobs to our state.
To put this into perspective, this is more than any other year on record at the midpoint. What’s more, these new positions, which companies anticipate hiring over the next five years, will pay an expected average hourly wage of $21.27, which exceeds our state’s current average hourly wage by more than $1 an hour. In addition, these companies anticipate investing over $3 billion in their Indiana operations in the coming years.
Business owners across the country are looking for a place where they can maximize their return on investment, fill their available jobs with qualified workers and not be taxed into failure. This recent announcement shows that businesses are finding that here in Indiana, and industry leaders have taken notice. In May, Chief Executive Magazine ranked Indiana the best place to do business in the Midwest and sixth best nationwide. This is a win for every Hoosier and will continue to advance our already strong economy.
I am extremely proud to serve in the Indiana Legislature where we have placed a strong emphasis on living within our means, cutting taxes and creating an environment which encourages job creation. While the future is unpredictable, by planning ahead, maintaining healthy reserves and paying down our debts, we are ensuring that Indiana can continue to effectively operate during times of economic uncertainty. In addition, through attracting new, high-wage jobs, we are affording individuals a better opportunity to provide for themselves and their families and build their own rainy-day fund. I am proud of our leaders for continuing to exercise fiscal restraint, and I am proud to be a Hoosier.