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WJBD - Local News - Unemployment Down in Marion County, but so is Number of People Working

Unemployment Down in Marion County, but so is Number of People Working

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Unemployment in Marion County fell a full percent in August...but the number of people working was also down.   State Department of Employment Security spokesman Dennis Hoffman says unemployment was at 10.9% in August, down from 11.9-percent last month and down from 11.4% a year ago.  

"At this time of year, students go back to school and leave the job market. So there has been a drop in the overall labor force, which contributes to the lower unemployment rate" Hoffman said.

Hoffman says 1,860 were unemployed in August, down 190 from July.  But the total number employed also dropped by 100, with 15,170 residents in the county having jobs.  Hoffman says there are some bright spots.

"There's certainly some manufacturing industries who have been doing some hiring in the area. Of course, we also had a big announcement out of [Airtex] in Fairfield about big layoffs there, but in general, there has been some expansion" Hoffman said.

Hoffman says there were also employment gains in South Central Illinois in retail trade, wholesale trade, leisure-hospitality, mining, construction, and health care.  Government payrolls remained on a steady downward trend.  Marion County is now tied for the 8th highest unemployment rate in the state.  Alexander County in deep Southern Illinois has the highest rate at 12 and a half percent.  

In other area counties, unemployment in Washington County was at 6.2% in August, Clinton County was at 6.7%, Wayne at 8%, Jefferson County at 8.8%, and Fayette and Clay Counties at 9.7% apiece.   

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