The Peoria area's economy saw improved labor market conditions during the second quarter of 2018.
Bernard Goitein helps develop the quarterly reports and teaches management and leadership in Bradley University’s Foster College of Business. He said although an increase in job openings and fewer layoffs led to improved labor conditions, the unemployment rate remained steady.
“We noticed with more people working, you might think the unemployment rate would go down, but those previously unemployed took jobs, so we have more people working, which meant the people who were out of the labor force were saying, ‘Oh, maybe I should join in.’ So that kept our unemployment rate at a consistent low level of 4.7 percent,” Goitein said.
Long-term unemployment rates have decreased, partly due to baby boomers reaching the retirement age, Goitein said. That allows younger job seekers to enter the workforce.
The report also shows the Peoria area experienced an increase in the number of people working, but not due to an increase in jobs.
Goitein said people who work two jobs are counted twice.
“We looked at the quit rate which was up from what it used to be. So it looks like people are quitting those second jobs,” Goitein said. “Employers still need those jobs done so they replace those. So we have more people working, but essentially the same number of jobs.”
The quit rate is the number of quits per month divided by the number of employees working at that time.
The Midwest’s quit rate was up 0.3 percent compared to last year, which Goitein said is consistent with the report’s findings. He said there were 4,800 people working a second job in the Peoria area last year, which reduced to just over 1,300 this year.
The quarterly Bradley study examines the Peoria-Pekin Metropolitan Statistical Area, including Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark and Marshall counties.
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