DAVENPORT- A group out of Florida says the Quad Cities area is hurting when it comes to economic growth.
Policom analyzes the strengths of metropolitan areas using local and state data. This year's report ranks the Quad Cities number 209 out of 383 U.S. metropolitan areas. That number is the worst ranking the area has seen in the past five years. In 2014, the area was in the top 90 of the metropolitan areas, but it has been on a decline since then.
Executives at the Quad Cities Chamber say Policom blames part of the drop in the ranking on the loss of 3,000 jobs from 2011 to 2016 alone. All of those job losses were from the Illinois Quad Cities.
"That certainly has an impact when you have a job loss like that," Quad Cities Chamber Interim CEO Kristin Glass said Wednesday, January 31. "We as a community knew that was happening."
Policom Corporation President William Fruth says he suspects Illinois is the reason behind the drop in the rating. He says Rock Island County has not seen job growth as of late and not done well as a whole. All 3,000 job losses above are out of Rock island County alone.
The data from Policom is two years behind current statistics, and some of the workers laid off from two years ago have been rehired. Glass also points out the agency measures the economy over 20 a year time period, and then it comes up with a ranking. Glass says 1997 and 1998 were not good years for the area, claiming the Quad Cities was coming back from a downturn in our economy at that time.
We are digging more into the employers who lost jobs from 2011-2016 and why. A larger story on that will come in the following weeks.