2014 Regional Report: The Midwest

Indiana (No. 6): Inventing Incentives
Hammered during the Great Recession, Indiana’s sluggish recovery is edging back to 2007 employment levels. Bright spots include recreational vehicle manufacturing, growing at the rate of 7.5 percent annually and a vibrant life sciences sector. There’s “effective economic development at the state level,” says Darin Buelow, a principal with Deloitte’s Real Estate & Location Strategy services in Chicago. “They are winning major projects and then some,” including Nestlé’s large production plant in Anderson.

The Tax Foundation ranks Indiana 22nd highest out of 50 states in tax burden, and 10th in business tax climate. The Hoosier State spends over $921 million a year on incentive programs, according to The New York Times state subsidy database.

North Dakota (No. 12): Going for the Gas
Thanks to oil and gas, North Dakota’s economic output has more than doubled since 2002, approaching $50 billion a year in 2013. Gross domestic product rose 5.4 percent over the previous year. Other growth industries include real estate, agriculture and mining. In July, unemployment sunk to 2.8 percent in America’s tightest labor market. Says Deloitte’s Buelow: “The overriding challenge today is the labor shortage.”

The Tax Foundation ranks North Dakota 35th out of 50 states for tax burden and ranked its business tax climate 28th. The state’s “been very proactive in [readjusting] its tool kit in terms of incentives,” says Tracey Hyatt Bosman, managing director at Biggins Lacy Shapiro & Company, a commercial real estate firm in Chicago. North Dakota spends over $32.9 million a year on corporate incentives, according to The New York Times subsidy database.