Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

May 25, 2013

Area counties report lower unemployment

Bill Grimes Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — Unemployment rates dropped precipitously through the Effingham area in April, according to statistics released Friday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Jobless rates dropped between 1.7 percent in Effingham County and 3 percent in Cumberland County. Other area counties all saw declines in unemployment between 2 and 2.1 percent.

The decrease means all seven area counties posted April unemployment rates below 10 percent. Labor market economist Dennis Hoffman said warmer weather contributed to increased employment throughout the area.

“Construction firms added workers as road and commercial building activity increased, while spring-related employment advances were reported in the leisure-hospitality and retail trade sectors,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman added, however, that employment gains weren’t only in employment sectors traditionally helped by warm weather.

“Employment gains were reported in professional-business services, transportation and wholesale trade,” he said.

Hoffman said job opportunities continued to be most plentiful in the health care and medical support sectors. But he also reported that job openings were available in food service, sales, transportation, management, computer operations, engineering, production operations and buildings-grounds maintenance.

Effingham County continued to post the area’s lowest unemployment rate. April’s jobless rate of 6.2 percent compared favorably to March’s rate of 7.9 percent and last April’s rate of 6.3 percent.

Here are unemployment rates in other area counties: Cumberland, 7.8 percent, down from 10.8 percent in March, but up from 7.7 percent last April; Shelby, 7.6 percent, down from 9.6 percent in March and 8. percent last April; Clay, 9.3 percent, down from 11.5 percent in March, but up from 9.2 percent last April; Fayette County, 8.8 percent, down from 10.9 percent in March and 9.5 percent last April; Jasper County, 6.9 percent, down from 10.9 and 7 percent; and Marion County, 9.6 percent, down from 11.7 and 9.7 percent.