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Illinois Economy

Sangamon Employers Bullish

Local employers seem to be optimistic about the Sangamon County economy in the year ahead.

The twice yearly survey gives researchers a read on what local leaders think about the economy. 

Ashley Kirzinger with the U of I Springfield's Survey Research Office says the latest report shows a big jump in the expectations of local employers and a 36 point increase in  the overall economic outlook from four years ago.

Kirzinger say the survey is on par with national numbers, but there may also be increased optimism because of  new leadership taking over at the Governor's mansion and Mayor's office.

The survey showed that local businesses they don't like the cost of worker's compensation insurance. But it doesn't seem to affect whether they'll be hiring.  Kirzinger said 60% of those responding said their unemployment insurance costs had gone up since the legislature passed reforms a few years ago.

"They say its unfair. They say its placing a burden on their businesses, but its not placing a burden in terms of their number of total employees," Kirzinger said.

Overall employers expect the local economy to continue to improve in coming months, although there is the expectation of declines in the education, natural resources and government employment sectors.

The survey also showed that compared to last spring there seems to be more optimism that levels of giving to area non profits will increase. 

Find the survey here.

Bill is a former general manager, economy reporter, Harvest correspondent and Statehouse Bureau Chief for NPR Illinois. He has won several awards including the Associated Press Best Investigative Reporter.
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