Economic Outlook for 2013

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STATELINE (WIFR) -- We had a lot of economic news this year, both good and bad. Like 2012, local experts think 2013 will be a year of continuing to rebuild the manufacturing sector.

With the highest unemployment rate in the state, Rockford will need a big break in 2013. Even though it had the largest drop in Illinois last month, John Lewis says that’s not enough.

“The total number of people employed has not gone up. The unemployment rate has really come down because people are dropping out of the labor force,” says Lewis.

Lewis is president of J. Lewis and Associates, an economics consulting firm. He says the new year could bring a slow, but positive change. “The construction industry in the Rockford Area, especially industrial commercial construction will be a real positive given the Woodward expansion,” Lewis added.

Lorayne Logan is the president of Workplace Staffing. She believes there’s not enough skilled works. “Job growth being low, part of what’s precipitating that or feeding that is there are not enough people with the right skill for where the jobs are,” said Logan.

In order to see any growth next year, Logan says residents will have to go back to school and land a better job in 2013.

Logan tells us that computer skills will be essential in all industries, including accounting and even manufacturing. She says engineering and IT Departments will see the largest boosts in the new year.
Along with Woodward, several other companies in the Rockford Area announced their plans to expand within the next year.