Down 9,000 in seven years

By:  Diane Benjamin

WGLT interviewed an economist from the Economic Development Council.  Mike Doherty is the one that reported Bloomington-Normal has lost 9000 jobs in the last 7 years.

He claims government has shrunk.  (Not Bloomington!)  He also attributed the decline to State Farm ending consulting contracts and Mitsubishi closing.  Then he blamed my personal favorite:  retiring baby boomers.  Evidently whatever job they held didn’t really matter because where they worked didn’t replace them when they retired!

Very logical!

He claimed Sales Tax in Bloomington is up – the City has claimed it’s flat.  He also claimed Normal’s Sales tax is down, but everything is fine!

Doherty also claims the most consistent job growth (he called it recovery) is in Hospitality and Leisure.  Celebrate now – LOW wage jobs!

Read the entire story here:

Normally the EDC only spews great data.  Maybe the economists should do all interviews in the future.



10 thoughts on “Down 9,000 in seven years

  1. State Farm displacements (lost jobs) resulting in 2 director retirements per day… been happening for 3 weeks now and to continue thru 1st 1/4 2018. That’s over 30 6 figure positions gone from our economy, so far! Then they’ll start with the rest of IT. How is this not impacting local economy?

    1. It will have a devastating ripple effect on the local economy. It is more that just State Farm people losing their jobs. This means many many people who work in all kinds of service or support jobs will also lose their jobs. And most of them will not be getting severance packages and nice retirements. They will get a kick out the door and 25 weeks of unemployment while losing their families health insurance.

  2. Whatever this man is smoking… he should stop smoking because it is affecting his ability to see the world and our towns as they really are. Our main economic driver (State Farm) is being disrupted by technology and has begun what will be a long torturous decline. Our other main economic driver ISU has begun this year to have an enrollment decline that will continue for the foreseeable future (like all the other state universities). Our area is in a so-called recession which is actually an general economic decline. And we blame it on retiring baby boomers? Mike… stop smoking whatever you are smoking… It’s making you into an idiot.

      1. Admitting that jobs are disappearing is an act of bravery in Bloomington-Normal. I’m worried that he’ll get a dead fish delivered to his doorstep.

  3. Monday I went to look at a piece of furniture listed on Craig’s List and it happened to be in a east side mansion home (what I call them). They told me they were moving and didn’t wanted to move the furniture left in the house. They told me they were calling a local auction place to take what was left to auction off. They told me they moved to a house with about the same same square footage. I thought that was weird.

    I just wonder if they were downsizing due to financial difficulty. I don’t know what the house was worth. If I had to guess over $300K She told me they were moving to a quieter area. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me since it was a secluded area in a housing area. There weren’t any high traffic street near the house.

  4. Diane – Great catch on the baby boomer excuse! It’s used as an “out of our control” excuse, kind of like blaming the weather for bad sales. Anyway, I wish the interviewer would have asked the logical follow-up question as you did. “Hospitality and Leisure” is interesting. Consider first that it necessarily requires consumers to have disposable income to spend. So, I guess, the EDC is saying we have less employed people in BN, but at least they’re spending more money. This is a structural issue over the longer-term. We need savers who will invest their accumulated money into building, investing, and/ or expanding companies, not going out to eat and furthering the service economy.

    1. You are correct Workingman. There seems to be an obsession with city and business leadership here with businesses that rely of disposable income. Remember Mayor Koos stating the hot dog place will have a regional draw? Even if is does have a regional draw (we all know it doesn’t) the money spent on hot dogs is essentially disposable income (eating at home is much cheaper and makes more sense). Focusing your economy of disposable income is silly and dangerous. The disposable income pie is only so big here.. open a new restaurant and money is shifted from an existing restaurant to the new restaurant. An political figure here in town know as Pancake Man recently celebrated on Twitter the movement of Outback Steakhouse from one town to the next. Yes that is a win for economic development in his eyes. You can’t make this stuff up… Only in Bloomington/Normal could this sort of stuff go on and go on unnoticed by the general population.

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