The latest quarterly look at the Peoria area economy shows modest growth and projected stability.
The third quarter composite index of business and economic indicators for the Peoria area was up about 0.7 percent from a year ago.
Bernard Goitein of Bradley University said there are some interesting trends in the labor markets.
"Fewer layoffs. In fact it reduced our new unemployment claims index by 13.9 percent from the year before. At the same time employers were not laying off people, they were not looking for more people. They advertised 1 percent fewer job openings than the year before, contributing to a 1.1 percent decline in the total number of residents working," said Goitein.
Goitein said another factor in the decline of the number of jobs in the Peoria area is the ongoing retirement cycle of the baby boom generation.
The snapshot of the Peoria area economy shows declines in healthcare and retail. Goitein said that does not mean a significant decline in the last quarter in the number of jobs worked.
"Sometimes these jobs move over into the growing sector of professional and business services. For instance a firm might have a billing division and then that business could farm these out to a billing company," said Goitein.
Goitein said, in fact, shrinkage in healthcare and retail are balanced by the increase in professional and business services for the quarter.
For the quarter, retail sales were up slightly. Home sales remained above year-ago levels.
Goitein said he expects little overall short-term change in the economy.
Faculty and staff of the Departments of Economics and Management and Leadership of the Foster College of Business at Bradley University review more than 30 diverse business indicators in the preparation of these quarterly assessments.
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