University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Survey Research Office

Gov. Pritzker speaks at a Democratic candidate forum
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A majority of Illinoisans think the state is on the wrong track and have a dim view of the economy, but the pessimism doesn’t seem to be affecting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s job approval.

report cover of Illinois State Capitol Building
Jonathan Salmi

The 2018 UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership Annual Report is now available.  April 15, 2019, the annual convocation shared highlights from the past year of public policy practice and engagement from the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois. 

Center for State Policy and Leadership Annual Report Cover
UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership

The 2017 UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership Annual Report is now available.  In April, the annual convocation shared highlights from the past year of public policy practice and engagement from the Springfield campus of the University of Illinois. 

Read for a recap of some of the issues Illinois faced in 2017.

wikimedia.commons

 The Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has released the Spring 2016 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey. 

flickr/talesofawanderingyoukai

A few months can make a lot of difference.  In the spring, the Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey ound a lot of optimism.   But that was before a budget impasse left the State of Illinois without a spending plan for 4 months and counting.

The 2015 Sangamon County Citizen Survey indicates residents are generally in good health, with access to health care.  96% report having health insurance.  That's up about 7% from the last survey in 2013 and is a potential result of the federal health care law.

Fewer residents also say they are pessimistic about their personal finances, from 21% in 2013 to 13% now.

Education in the county, both public and private, got good marks.  More also say the county has strong leadership.

So why do the overall numbers show fewer positive ratings for life in Sangamon County?

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.

Hannah Meisel/WUIS

This story first ran in the October 2014 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

Flickr/JimParker

Sangamon County employers have a positive outlook about the economy.  The University of Illinois Springfield Survey Research Office polls businesspeople twice a year for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. 

This spring's results mark the first time since 2012 that expectations were as high.   However, just over half of  those responding expected employment to stay the same in the county in the next year.