The Pekin-Peoria economy continued to grow slightly in the third quarter of the year. Bradley University Business Management Professor Bernard Goitein says the index of 30 area businesses shows overall growth of 0.7 percent.
He says that includes a mix of 13.9 percent fewer people being laid-off than last year at the same time, as well as a 1.1 percent drop in the number of people working.
Gointein says that may point to more ‘baby boomers’ retiring. It’s a trend he expects to continue which may also help the economy thrive. He says it can be confusing because we think to ourselves, they aren’t working. How can they help the economy?
“But they’ve done their job and they are still purchasing and the rest of us are providing important services,” Goitein says. “So whether it’s ordinary retail or increasingly over the years, it’s going to kick into health care as well. So that’s something fascinating to look at, that in making sure those sectors remain healthy and we get the services we need.”
Goitein says the reduced number of people working also makes more sense when we realize we have a large number of people retiring. Further, he says, “we don’t have nearly as many young people entering the labor force to fill those positions. So the net number of people working declines.”
The areas of hospitality and entertainment employment grew the most, more than 8 percent year-over-year. Area health care employment contracted the most in the third quarter, down 6.6 percent. The Index is adjusted to compensate for seasonal variations in the workforce.
The Composite Index of Business and Economic Indicators covers the Metropolitan Service Area or the Peoria-Pekin MSA; Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark and Marshall Counties. The Index is created by the Departments of Economics, Management, and Leadership in the Bradley University Foster College of Business.