BEDFORD — Radius Indiana released a quarterly update today to its Radius Manufacturing Index. The new index showed continued growth in the eight-county region, powered by an increase in manufacturing employment in the region to a level of more than 21,000 jobs out of a total regional workforce of more than 91,000.

The RMI was developed by Radius Indiana and gives the organization an analytic tool that monitors several facets to gauge the strength of the manufacturing industry in the region, and provides cumulative information about 12 data indicators of the manufacturing sector.

This first quarter 2019 RMI update reflects data from first quarter 2018 and shows how the region is performing in comparison to the state of Indiana. The raw number of the RMI is 57.97 for the quarter, which represents the total scores of the 12 factors included in the index. The overall state index saw a score of 57.92.

According to the report, the number of manufacturing establishments, as well as total business establishments in the Radius region, grew during the quarter. For the region, the average manufacturing wage reflected a higher wage than the previous quarter, rising from $46,051 to $46,370.

The positive portrayal of manufacturing strength in the region corroborated the findings in the 2018 Wage and Benefit Survey of businesses in the Radius region and surrounding counties. In that survey, a manufacturing-heavy sample of businesses self-reported that 71 percent of companies in a 15-county region expect to add workers in the next year, while only 5 percent anticipate potential layoffs.

“The RMI allows Radius to continuously see how manufacturing is growing in our region,” said Jeff Quyle, president and CEO of Radius. “Gathering this information for our (local economic development organizations) allows us to keep them updated on how our region compares to the state regarding the manufacturing sector.”

The index uses statistics from publicly available sources to provide an estimate of the state of health of the manufacturing sector in the region. The index is a backward-looking tool that reflects conditions approximately six-12 months in the past, based on the dates for some of the statistics used. Data used for this RMI update was gathered March 7 using JobsEQ.

“The Radius Manufacturing Index provides us with a measure of the overall health of our regional economy which relies heavily on our strong manufacturing base,” said Ed Cole, president of Dubois Strong. “Manufacturing plays a huge role in the Dubois County economy. Just over half our workforce is employed in manufacturing jobs. Out of the nearly 23,000 who are in employed in our county, almost 12,000 are employed in manufacturing.”

For the state, manufacturing jobs decreased as a percentage of total employment, which appears to corroborate the state’s ongoing economic diversification.

Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

© 2019 TMNews.com, Bedford, IN.