In recent years, local communities have put a focus not only on bringing in new jobs, but landing ones with higher pay.
Local leaders have focused on advanced manufacturing jobs, which require more skills, but also typically pay higher, they said.
And when a company asks for incentives to expand or locate in Johnson County, local officials partially base what they will offer in incentives on the pay of those jobs, they said.
Their hope is that focus is starting to pay off.
Between 2014 and 2015, the median household income in Johnson County increased from $58,833 to $68,256.
The county’s 16 percent increase was higher than any other county in central Indiana and among the highest in the nation, according to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau. The median income now ranks fifth among Marion County and the surrounding counties.
Local officials want that number to continue to increase with new jobs being added.
Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness hopes that the increase means that people who had been unemployed or underemployed are finding full-time work with good wages.
Franklin has become home to national headquarters for large companies, such as KYB, and the advanced manufacturing field is continuing to grow. While that may not mean as many jobs as in the past, it does often mean higher wages, he said.
“I’ve been saying for years, manufacturing is not what your parents or grandparents did,” McGuinness said. “It’s a lot of math, robotics, engineering.”
Because the jobs require higher skill sets, they also often pay more, he said.
Greenwood has seen similar growth in that field, along with other fields, such as distribution, and city officials are focusing on attracting jobs that pay on the middle and higher end of the pay scale, Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers said. Those companies receive more lucrative incentive packages, he said.
“We can be picky in what we offer more incentives to. We want to offer them to businesses that will pay it back through their employee base,” Myers said.
Here is a look at median household income in recent years:
SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau