Thursday, October 27, 2011

Biz Barometer

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Non-farm payroll employment edged up by 103,000 in September, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The increase in employment partially reflected the return to payrolls of about 45,000 telecommunications workers who had been on strike in August.  In September, job gains occurred in professional and business services, health care, and construction. Government employment continued to trend down nationwide.

The September seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Illinois rose to 10 percent despite the addition of 1,600 new jobs, according to preliminary data released last week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).  That’s the 5th straight month the unemployment rate has increased.  In September, unemployed individuals increased 10,500 (1.6%) to 663,300 compared to August. Total unemployed has declined 76,800 (-10.4%) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.2%.

Government layoffs weren’t much of a factor in the September numbers. According to IDES, the number of people employed by state and local governments was the same in September as in August. However, government employment in Illinois is down 13,200 when compared to September of 2010.

The Pekin housing market had a strong 3rd quarter compared to the 3rd quarter of 2010 according to the Peoria Area Association of REALTORS.  A total of 135 homes were sold this quarter, compared to 107 in the 3rd quarter of 2010.  The average sales price of $113,226 for the 3rd quarter of 2011 was 9.4% greater than the 3rd quarter of 2010.

However, the 2011 year-to-date sales are running 5.8% behind the first 9 months of 2010.  East Peoria (-11.1%) and Washington (-16%) have also seen their September year-to-date sales fall short of the 2010 numbers, while Morton (+0.6%) is slightly ahead of last year.

Likewise, the average sales price is 1.9% less than the September 2010 year-to-date numbers.  The other large Tazewell County communities have seen their average sales price drop by bigger percentages in the September year-to-date comparison:  Washington (7.2%), East Peoria (-7.1%), and Morton (3.1%). 

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