Survey says: Local economy looking up

CHAMPAIGN — Folks attending Busey Bank's economic seminar Wednesday were more optimistic about the local economy than they were about the stock market, a survey shows.

The survey, distributed to the 600 or so in attendance, found they expect:

— Retail sales in Champaign County to total $2.8 billion this year, up 5.8 percent from 2013.

Scharlau: Champaign County 'growing forward'

CHAMPAIGN — Busey Bank Vice Chairman Ed Scharlau believes Champaign County has more construction going on than any other county in downstate Illinois.

Minnesota joins states raising minimum wage

BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press

Tourist season has arrived

April is a busy month for tourism in Champaign County, and maybe nobody knows that more than Visit Champaign County President and CEO Jayne DeLuce.

Under the glow of a couple Boneyard Arts Festival displays, she sat down with The News-Gazette to talk about what's going on this month and why it's so important to the area.

Answers to today's challenge: C-U pay

Here are the answers to the jobs question posted here. Salaries are in the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area in 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

10: Bank teller, $23,120.

7: Elementary school teacher, $46,150.

Today's challenge: Rank Champaign-Urbana jobs according to pay

Following are 10 occupations. Can you rank them from highest- to lowest-paid, based on average wages in the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area in 2012?

Mark 1 for the highest-paid occupation; 10 for the lowest-paid.

___ Bank teller.

___ Elementary school teacher.

___ Farmer/rancher/ag manager.

___ Firefighter.

___ Heavy/tractor-trailer truck driver.

UI group looking at pension supplement

The University of Illinois is moving toward a supplemental pension program that would contribute money to a tax-deferred retirement savings plan for thousands of employees stung by the state's recent pension reform.

Business and professional briefs, April 6, 2014

New jobs

Lee joins law firm. Matthew D. Lee has joined the Meyer Capel law firm in Champaign as an associate attorney.

He will concentrate his practice in the area of civil litigation.

Lee received his law degree from the University of Illinois in 2003.

U.S. finally regains the jobs lost in the recession


For Clinton residents, nuclear plant's 'impact is significant'

Folks in the Clinton area have enjoyed an economic cushion the last 30 years or so, courtesy of Exelon Corp.'s Clinton Power Station.

The nuclear plant, which began commercial operation in 1987, employs 652 people and has an annual payroll of $54 million.

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