Two new data points on Peoria’s economy

The Peoria Journal Star has two articles today with measures of Peoria’s economy. They both appeared in the print edition, but I couldn’t find them online.

In the first, Manpower Inc. has released the result of a survey that shows area employers plan to keep roughly the same number of workers between April and June. That’s a sign of stability in the local job market, which is undoubtedly a good thing. But it’s important to remember that job quantity is one thing, while job quality is quite another. I wonder if the new jobs being created will have wages and benefits that are comparable to the jobs being lost.

In the second article, a study shows that far fewer home-owners in the Peoria are “underwater” than the nation as a whole. “Underwater” means that people owe more on their homes than they could get for selling the home. Some economists argue that, when homeowners get “underwater,” they are more likely to simply walk away from the house, leading to foreclosure, dramatic drops in home values, further economic problems, etc. Personally, I’m not sure exactly how true this is. I think there’s an ethic to debt that would lead many people to keep paying if they could. Also, it’s no small thing to get a huge ding on your credit report. Either way, it’s good to see that the Peoria area is more stable on this front, too.

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