Unemployment Continues Downward Trend

(SPRINGFIELD, IL) — Unemployment declined in all 18 counties in South Central Illinois when compared with one year ago. Workforce conditions continued to gradually improve during the year. The data is not seasonally adjusted. Over the year, employment gains were reported in Retail Trade and Transportation in South Central Illinois. Employment in Health Care Services continued to expand. Payroll advances occurred in Leisure-Hospitality and Professional-Business Services. Increased Agriculture activity began for the fall harvest. Construction activity, especially road and commercial projects, remained at significant levels this fall. Government employment declined during the past year. Numerous employment opportunities in September 2015 were advertised in Health Care and Transportation. Job openings also were reported in Office and Administrative Support, Sales, Management, and Production occupations. Employment opportunities included jobs in Computer Services, Engineering, Food Services, and Installation, Maintenance, and Repair occupations. Workers were also needed for Building and Grounds Maintenance and Construction occupations. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. In Jefferson County, the September unemployment rate was at 6.2% down from 6.8% a year ago, and down .1% from August 2015. Marion County was at 6.3% down from 6.4% in August 2015 and 6.9% in September 2014. Other counties showings for September were Clinton County at 3.9%, which is down .1% from August, Hamilton County at 4.7%, Wayne County at 5.9%, and Washington County at 3.5% holding steady compared to last month.