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BN By The Numbers: Steady Economy Overall In Last Quarter

Employment in the business sector in Bloomington Normal is stable according to economist Mike Doherty. Doherty reviews various numbers periodically for the Economic Development Council. Doherty said the government sector, on the other hand is reduced.

“Back in 2010-2012 we got up to 17,000 jobs in the government sector. But, that has come down considerably. We’re now below 14,000 jobs in the government sector for the second year in a row. And as a percentage of our total jobs, it’s about 12 percent,” said Doherty.

Doherty said there are troubling signs in sales tax receipts for municipal governments. In the most recent quarter reported he said Bloomington was down five percent and Normal was flat.

“But, that’s not necessarily good news if you think there has been a little bit of inflation in there, you’re talking about one and a half two percent. Some of those goods are sales taxed, (suggesting fewer sales at slightly higher prices). So, in Normal’s case the glass is half full. In Bloomington’s case, it’s a bit more troubling,” said Doherty.

He also said an EDC study on sectors of employment suggests State Farm Insurance is keeping its commitment to stable employment in the area with roughly the same number of business sector jobs in the twin cities as there were in 2015.

Overall employment peaked in 2012 at more than 97,000 jobs. Doherty said current levels are stable or even slightly above the previous quarter, but about 5 percent under that peak at just under 92,000 jobs.

Doherty said other indicators such as realty and unemployment are not bad for the twin cities.
    
Doherty spoke on GLT’s Sound Ideas and at an EDC quarterly presentation ‘Bloomington Normal by the Numbers.’

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