Tuesday, November 12, 2013

UIS survey finds Sangamon County employers not expecting large changes in employment

A survey conducted by the University of Illinois Springfield Center for State Policy and Leadership, in partnership with The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, shows Sangamon County employers are not expecting big changes in the employment rate in Sangamon County.

The Fall 2013 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey studied local businesses, firms, and non-profits in order to gauge expectations across several economic indicators. The survey is based on the responses of 174 individuals representing various economic sectors including construction, manufacturing, retail, financial, and medical.

The survey found a majority of businesses are not expecting a decrease or increase for the next year. Forty-seven percent of respondents expect employment to “stay the same,” while 26.8 percent expect a “small increase” or “large increase.” Additionally, 25.7 percent of respondents report that there will either be a “small decline” or a “large decline” in the overall employment in Sangamon County over the next 12 months.

Results from the survey show Sangamon County employers believe that increasing the number of workforce training programs is a priority in Sangamon County with two-thirds of respondents reporting that it was either a medium or high priority in the region.

The Fall 2013 topical section asked employers what traits/characteristics they are most looking for in new employees. Respondents chose from a list of traits ranging from personal skills to business skills to technical skills.
  • Almost 90% (89.7 respondents) report that they are looking for employees with personal skills (work ethic, responsibility, integrity.)
  • 55.4% report that they are looking for individuals with communication skills (speaking, writing, and working in teams.) 
The overall Intensity Index Scores show that all indicators, except for employment and inflation, saw positive expectation increases since Spring 2013. Capital investment saw a significant positive boost, up four points from last spring.

When analyzing the expectations by industry sectors, the medical sector continues to produce strong numbers, up one point from this spring. Overall, eight out of 12 industry sectors had higher expectations than six months ago.

Next to healthcare, the information and communication sector posted the second highest positive expectations for industries in Sangamon County.

Businesses, firms and organizations had optimistic outlooks of themselves in the survey, posting very strong numbers. There were increases in all five indicators, including capital investment, total number of employees, gross revenue/sales, profitability and overall status. This is the most positive rating recorded in the economic outlook survey since Spring 2012.

The survey is sponsored by the University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor’s Office, the Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS and The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

For more information on the survey, contact Ashley Kirzinger, director of the UIS Survey Research Office, at 217/206-7956 or akirz2@uis.edu.

Read the full report online

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