The number of jobs in the Peoria metropolitan area dipped slightly in the last three months of 2019 compared to the same stretch of 2018, but so did the unemployment rate.
That's according to the Fourth Quarter Business and Economic Indicators report from Bradley University. The number of jobs on local payrolls dropped 1.1 percent, but unemployment dropped from 5.2 percent in 2018 to 4.4 percent last year.
Dr. Bernard Goitein is a professor in the Foster College of Business. He said this report may hint it's a good time for people to explore starting their own businesses.
"We're looking at potential increases in entrepreneurship and numbers of self-employed. You know, if there are fewer jobs and employer payrolls, that's the kind of time where people start looking and say, you know, maybe I should look for my own business opportunities," Goitein said. "So there's some longer-term entrepreneurship benefits that we could be anticipating."
Goitein's outlook for the coming year is mixed. He expects little overall growth for area employers in the near term, but said there's positive signals further out.
"Longer-term, of course, we do see some business and economic growth. We're looking at patterns of regional capital investment, where we're looking at firms and organizations investing more in projects," he said.
The Business and Economic Indicators report looks at more than 30 different aspects in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Stark, and Marshall counties.