Hoosiers by the Numbers

Your premier source for labor market information for Indiana.

EGR 1 map

EGR 1 consists of Jasper, Lake, LaPorte, Newton, Porter, Pulaski and Starke counties.

Economic Growth Region 1 Analysis

EGR 1 is located in northwest Indiana, bordering Lake Michigan and Illinois.

Region 1’s “singing sand” dunes of Lake Michigan greet visitors to the state’s only National Park, Indiana Dunes. A revolutionary war site, the Battle of Le Petit Fort, and Octave Chanuet’s glider experiments also took place here. The Grand Kankakee Marsh, whose waters the explorer LaSalle plied, was where General Lew Wallace penned Ben Hur. Thousands of migrating sandhill cranes draw visitors to the Medaryville area, while geologists still debate the origins of the Kentland Dome in Newton County. 

Hammond is the setting for A Christmas Story, and Toto, a small community in Starke County, was Frank Baum’s inspiration for the name of Dorothy’s dog in The Wizard of Oz. The steel mills are legendary and Indiana’s international port, Burns Harbor, is one of this region’s trans modal strengths.

In Region 1, health care and social assistance and manufacturing account for the lion’s share of jobs by industry. The largest occupations are sales and related and food preparation and serving related. The region’s educational institutions include Indiana University–Northwest, Purdue University–Northwest, Ivy Tech, Valparaiso University and Calumet College of St. Joseph.

Recent Analysis

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Quick Stats

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870,725 Population (EGR 1)
4.5 Unemployment Rate (EGR 1)
$47.6 billion Personal Income (EGR 1)
$23.06 Average Wage (Gary Division)
$18.53 Median Wage (Gary Division)
281,800 Nonfarm Employment (Gary Division)
$20.65 Average Wage (Michigan City–La Porte MSA)
$17.18 Median Wage (Michigan City–La Porte MSA)
42,600 Nonfarm Employment (Michigan City–La Porte MSA)
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Top 10 Occupation Groups by Growth
(2021-2031 long-term projections)

  1. Legal occupations
  2. Healthcare support occupations
  3. Personal care and service occupations
  4. Computer and mathematical occupations
  5. Community and social services occupations
  6. Food preparation and serving related occupations
  7. Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
  8. Life, physical, and social science occupations
  9. Business and financial operations occupations
  10. Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Dive into the long-term occupation projections with the Employment Outlook Projections Tool.


Top 10 Industry Sectors
(Based on 2023 annual average employment)

  1. Health Care and Social Services
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Retail Trade
  4. Accommodation and Food Services
  5. Educational Services
  6. Construction
  7. Admin, Support, Waste Management
  8. Transportation & Warehousing
  9. Public Administration
  10. Other Services (Except Public Administration)

Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages

Access multiple data sets on the Industry topic page.

Major Employers (Based on number of employees)

Explore even more employers by location, size class or industry with the Business Lookup Tool.


  • Cleveland Cliffs
  • Franciscan Health Dyer
  • Strack & Van Til
  • Northwest Health – Porter
  • Community Hospital 
  • Alverno Clinical Labs LLC
  • Methodist Hospital Northlake
  • Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa
  • Franciscan Health Crown Point
  • US Steel Corp.

About the data

Note: The list of regional employers on this page was updated October 2023 to include local insights.

data axle This database contains listings of nearly 12 million U.S. employers. Employer information is provided by Data Axle®, Omaha, NE, (866)-DATAXLE. Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

Major Educational Institutions

Indiana University Northwest Four-year Gary
Purdue University - Calumet Four-year Hammond
Purdue University - North Central Four-year Westville
Ivy Tech Community College - Northwest Two-year Gary
Calumet College of Saint Joseph Independent Whiting
College of Court Reporting, Inc Independent Hobart
Valparaiso University Independent Valparaiso

Source: Indiana Commission for Higher Education

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training and education programs

Largest Cities and Towns in Economic Growth Region 1

Name Population in 2022 Percent of region County
Hammond 76,575 8.8% Lake
Gary 67,972 7.8% Lake
Portage 38,327 4.4% Porter
Merrillville 36,233 4.2% Lake
Valparaiso 34,565 4.0% Porter
Crown Point 34,526 4.0% Lake
Michigan City 31,792 3.7% LaPorte
Schererville 29,668 3.4% Lake
Hobart 29,458 3.4% Lake
East Chicago 25,968 3.0% Lake

Source: U.S. Census Bureau annnual population estimates

Michigan City lighthouse
Lighthouse in Michigan City during golden hour with Chicago in the background.

Helpful Tools and Resources

EGR 1 IN Depth Regional Profile

At-a-glance details about the region's population, labor force, housing and more.

County Highlights

Get a snapshot of critical population and workforce statistics for each county in the region.

INDemand Jobs

Find job postings and training for the jobs that are both high wage and high demand.

Regional Labor Mix

Discover the regional mix of occupations and/or industries to gain insight into strengths or identify gaps.


Build a region to view demographics, commuting patterns, industry clusters and occupation clusters, including the ability to include counties that border Indiana.

Labor Force Projections

These are the official labor force projections to 2050 released in September 2018 by the Indiana Business Research Center.


The commuting data page provides easy access to multiple commuting data sets and visualizations.