Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 23, 2012

Jobless rates down

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM —      Unemployment rates dropped slightly in October through most of the Effingham Daily News circulation region, according to statistics released this week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

     Only Cumberland County showed an increase in the jobless rate among the seven counties. Unemployment in Cumberland increased from 8.2 percent in September to 9.2 percent in October.

     But the other six counties told a different tale. Effingham County's unemployment rate remained at 6.7 percent in September and October, and the other five showed slight decreases in the jobless rate during that period.

Most area counties had significantly lower unemployment rates this October from the previous October.

     Labor market economist Dennis Hoffman said retailers and restaurants began hiring holiday help in October. He also said that employment gains continued in the transportation, wholesale trade and professional-business services sector.

     Then there's the never-ending cycle of major construction projects throughout the region, most notably the Interstate 57-70 widening in Effingham, and major expansions at several medical facilities in the region.

     "Medical facility expansion continue to have a favorable impact on the workforce, while substantial construction projects continued on schools and roads," said Hoffman who also said some of those projects were completed in early fall.

     Hoffman said jobs areavailable in a variety of sectors, most notably in  health care and medical support occupations. But he also said jobs are available in transportation, sales, food service, computer-related services, office and administrative support and installation, maintenance and repair.

     Here's a look at unemployment rates throughout the area:

     Cumberland County, 9.2 percent in October, up from 8.2 percent in September 2012, but down from 10.4 percent last October; Shelby County, 8.4 percent, down from 8.6 percent in September and 9.6 percent last October; Clay County, 10.3 percent, down from 10.8 percent and 11.5 percent; Effingham County, 6.7 percent, same as in September, but down from 7.1 percent last October; Fayette County, 9.5 percent, down from 9.8 percent and 10 percent; Jasper County, 8.6 percent, down from 8.7 percent in September, but up from 8.3 percent last October; and Marion County, 10.7 percent, down from 10.8 percent and 11 percent.