Our Great Posts

The overall economy in Clark and Champaign counties improved this year with several big expansions or new employers moving in, which has local leaders optimistic about the jobs picture for next year.

But the local growth lagged behind the rest of the state, said Bill LaFayette, owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.

Navistar announced a second deal with GM for a total of 600 new jobs and downtown Springfield has seen significant projects from a new brewery to artist studios and a new seniors center to EF Hutton America relocating its headquarters there. Local leaders also came together to form a nonprofit to target investments downtown.

“It’s changed the landscape of downtown,” Assistant City Manager Tom Franzen said.

And in Champaign County, KTH Parts Inc. moved forward with a major expansion, one of several significant local projects in the auto manufacturing industry, and created a new economic development partnership.

Overall, Clark County’s economy fared better in 2016 than last year, LaFayette said. He compared payroll employment data for January through October for both years. The results include residents who live in Clark County and are employed in the region.

The results showed an employment change from 50,800 to 51,000 in 2016, a roughly 0.4 percent improvement, LaFayette said. That was an improvement from last year, when payroll employment dropped by o.3 percent.

Read more: Big economic wins in Clark, Champaign in 2016, but growth lagged Ohio