Workforce & Wages

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Workforce Rankings

#1 U.S. Metro

  • Industrial Engineers

  • Industrial Engineering Technicians

  • CNC Operators

  • Multiple Machine Operators

  • Industrial Production Managers

Top Ten U.S. Metro

  • Manufacturing Workforce

  • Mechanical Engineers

  • Machinists

  • Production Occupations

  • Quality Assurance / Inspectors / Testers

By the Numbers

500000 +

In Labor Force Within a 45-60 Minute Commute

Of Workforce
1 %

Has Ties to Manufacturing (Compared to 9% in the U.S.)

# 0

U.S. Employment in Multiple Manufacturing Occupation Classifications

How many workers are there? 

Don’t be misled by the relatively small size of our one-county MSA population figure of 85,000 persons.  Employers in Columbus, Edinburgh, and Bartholomew County, Indiana, welcome workers from a 45-60 minute commute region population of more than 1.8 million persons, offering a labor force of over 930,000 workers.  While most workers enjoy living locally, with easy access via I-65 and in-state highways, etc., drive times and distances typically surpass a mile per minute of commute times, so it’s easy to pull workers from 45-60 miles.   


What are their chief skills and occupations?

With 38% of our local workforce tied to manufacturing (compared to 9% in the U.S.), Bartholomew County ranks in the top 2% of the nation, and our commuting region employs more than 70,000 persons in production occupations (more than 9,000 within our county alone). 


What is the average wage in the area?

In May 2022, the median wage for all occupations was $20.75/hour (half earn more and half earn less), and the mean average was $26.03. Production Occupations averaged $21.51/hour with a median of $20.75/hour. 


What is a good wage to pay my workers to be an employer of choice?  

Each year, the Greater Columbus EDC surveys local manufacturers to explore the wages and benefits offered to their employees per occupation type. We compile the data and share the aggregated findings with all participating HR managers. If you are a prospective company or an existing employer who did not participate in the most recent survey, please contact our office for details on how you may receive a copy of next year’s report.

In addition to our local Wage & Benefit survey which offers the latest available data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides detailed Employment & Wage Estimates for all occupations employed within the Columbus, Indiana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors within Bartholomew County and covers employment for more than 49,000 positions. This data is available here, and offers the following occupation-level details for May of the prior year:

  • Occupation Code
  • Occupation Title
  • Employment (How many local jobs?)
  • Location Quotient (1.0 = U.S. average, Higher than 1.0 = Local Employment Strength)
  • Median Wages

Don’t have time to sort through the data?  We will be happy to compile a customized report for any local or prospective employer.  Please contact our office for a customized report.


What is the community doing to help employers attract workers today?

In recent years, thousands of new housing units (apartments and single-family homes) have been built within our communities to meet the steady demand of people who want to move to Columbus, Edinburgh, and Bartholomew County.  Our communities are also investing heavily in quality of place projects (trails, new housing, public spaces, entertainment venues and more) that are focused on growing our population. More info at


What about workforce training and the pipeline for tomorrow’s workers? 

While Columbus, Edinburgh, & Bartholomew County, Indiana, are today home to a highly skilled manufacturing and logistics workforce, our community is also keenly focused on developing a pipeline of talent to meet the current and future needs of employers.  Check out our “Education & Training” page for more info!



Talented Workers Love Columbus, Indiana

We've worked with our friends at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce to develop a “Talent Attraction” toolkit for employers to use when recruiting talent, and for mobile workers and prospective hires to check out when considering a move here. 

It’s particularly aimed at those in their 20s/30s, but anyone considering a move to our community will find information on Housing, Things to Do, Education, Healthcare, FAQs and more in one convenient place.


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