Economist: State Farm Job Shifts To Have Small Effect On B-N Real Estate | WGLT

Economist: State Farm Job Shifts To Have Small Effect On B-N Real Estate

Apr 4, 2018

An economist for the Illinois Farm Bureau says he does not think Bloomington-Normal's realty sector will suffer much from the exit of nearly 900 information technology jobs at State Farm Insurance.

Mike Doherty said other jobs coming in will largely offset that drain on the housing sector.

"I would think it would soften it just a little bit. But the net change in jobs is in the hundreds, so a pretty small percentage of our total labor force. The marginal impact is pretty small," said Doherty.

Doherty said he also sees property values as stable and last year's 4.5 percent increase in property values is probably a one-off.

"And I'm skeptical seeing the decline in the labor force numbers. We have fewer people in the labor force and our employment numbers are not bouncing back. It's hard to imagine where future gains in housing prices would come from," said Doherty.

Doherty said a large increase in jobs by a major employer would be one way to boost housing prices, though that is not in any forecast at the moment.

He said labor force numbers are falling largely because of the retirement of the baby boom generation.

Doherty will present a quarterly snapshot of the Twin City economy to a Bloomington-Normal Economic Development Council luncheon at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center on Thursday.

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