Peoria Sees Job Growth, But Still Lags Behind the Pack | WGLT

Peoria Sees Job Growth, But Still Lags Behind the Pack

Sep 24, 2019

While the Peoria area is showing job growth, it still lags national averages.

That’s according to Bradley University Professor Bernard Goitein, who helps develop the area’s quarterly composite index tracking the local economy.

“The average U.S. unemployment rate is 3.6% seasonally adjusted. Here it’s 5.3%. So clearly, things are not quite working the same way,” Goitein said.

He said Peoria area job growth is recovering from first-quarter declines.

“We had a lot of job seekers. A lot of unemployed in the first quarter, and a growth in them. And a good number of them found work during the second quarter,” he said. “And that not only reduced the number of unemployed, it increased the number of working area residents.”

Goitein said most indicators measured in the quarterly report rebounded from first-quarter falls. Hospitality and entertainment sectors saw job growth. Seasonally adjusted, the data shows hospitality numbers returned to 2018 levels while entertainment partially reversed first-quarter declines but remains 1.6% below last year.

According to the report, retail trade establishments show job growth of 0.8%. Manufacturing sector jobs decreased by 0.6% but sit 1.3% over 2018 totals. Education and health, the largest industry in the Peoria area, stayed consistent with first-quarter totals and is 1.8% over 2018 totals. A similar trend is reported in the professional and business services sector, which also remained consistent with first-quarter numbers, but is 8.4% above 2018 totals.

Despite job growth, home sales are down from 2018. Goitein said there were fewer homes available to sell, fewer homes sold, and that those homes were sold at lower prices than last year. However, he said, there are 13.1% more homes on the market than last quarter, and they are 3% higher in price.

People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.