Friday, April 24, 2015

Local employer optimism highest since the recession

A survey released Thursday finds Sangamon County employers are more optimistic on the future of the local economy than at anytime since the end of the recession.

As if to confirm the results, a separate report Thursday put Springfield unemployment at a seven-year low of 5.3 percent in March.

The University of Illinois Springfield survey of expectations in the coming year of nearly 250 private, government and not-for-profit organizations found more optimism on employment, sales, capital investments and the overall health of the local economy. The telephone survey, which also is done in the fall, was conducted from March 5 to March 26.

Optimism was highest since the spring-fall surveys began in 2008, a year after the national recession ended, said Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Survey Research. Kirzinger said employer expectations continued to fall through 2009 before starting a gradual improvement, only to drop again in the fall of 2012.

"This is the first big uptick," Kirzinger said.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on April 24, 2015.

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