Chamber conducting Economic Outlook Survey

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is conducting its biannual Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey with help from the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Matthew Case, interim director of the Survey Research Office, says the poll gives decision makers a snapshot of business leaders' perceptions about the economy.

"It tells them where we are and what we should examine moving forward," he said.

SRO sent emails to Chamber members this week, seeking input on charitable contributions, profits, work readiness, job training and other facets of public opinion in the business world. Case says this survey specifically asks employers what skills they find important in prospective workers, whether such workers are available, what investments they're making in job training, and whether they're recruiting locally or outside the area. With state politics revolving around Illinois' business climate, the survey also focuses on the ability to retain workers.

"That's something that's really pertinent in Illinois right now," Case said.

He notes that the survey has been conducted since 2008, and the data show two dips in expectation among Chamber members: one attributable to the onset of the Great Recession, and another more recently because of the state budget crisis.

"Expectations have gone down a bit," he said

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