Peoria Area Economy Chugging Along | WGLT

Peoria Area Economy Chugging Along

May 11, 2017

The Peoria Pekin area continues to register economic activity in positive territory.
Credit Dr. Bernard Goitein / Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University

A snapshot of the Peoria area economy shows stability.

The latest composite index out by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Bradley University shows a minor decline in activity, though it also shows the economy is still growing.

The index has been trending down slowly for five quarters, but not in a big way.

Center Director Bernie Goitein said the unemployment rate is steady, but the number of positions is down.

"And usually you think, well, fewer jobs bad. But, when we look at what's going on we see it's actually kind of a good indicator," said Goitein.

Goitein said the number of people working did not change and unemployment claims and the layoff rate were both down.

"Apparently they were quitting. We already knew we had an elevated quit rate for the Midwest for the first quarter. People must have been doing well or at least better in their first jobs so, they can say, well, I can get rid of my second one," said Goitein.

Goitein said it appears workers are moving from part time positions to full time ones. Goitein said retirements in the baby boom generation may be inspiring employers to convert part time workers into full timers.

Manufacturing and construction sectors were up slightly for the quarter. Goitein says an increased supply of homes bolstered sales and the price of homes.

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