Unemployment rates in West Central Illinois saw little changes over the last year.
WLDS-WEAI News spoke with Ron Payne of the Illinois Department of Security to get his take on the job climate in the local area. Starting with the four-county area of Morgan, Scott, Cass and Greene, Payne breaks down this year’s figures.
“Morgan County actually went up from 4.4 last September up to 4.5, Scott dropped from 4.8 down to 4.6 percent, Greene County dropped from 6.0 down to 5.6 and Cass held steady at 5.1 (percent). Ran some number on the four-county area combined, and we stayed exactly at 5 percent from September of last year to September of this year,” says Payne.
As for which industries and business sectors saw the biggest improvements or declines…
“There were some nice gains in professional and business services, we’re up 125 and wholesale trade was up 125 as well. Educational and house service were up 100, retail trade as up 100, and there was a gain of 50 in transportation/warehousing and 50 in finance as well. There was only really one significant decline of any of the sectors and that was in the government sector, it was down 100 over the year,” Payne explains.
Now that the seasons are changing, Payne provides some possible job forecasts for West Central Illinoisans as we move into colder weather.
“Looking into the October data, typically we start seeing a change. I know the weather’s been pretty good this October, so I think a lot of the outdoor-related jobs continued to stay working this year compared to last year. But typically the unemployment rates hold pretty steady from August, September, October, usually very steady,” Payne says.
Payne credits the efforts of local employers and the local Economic Development Corporation for there being very few sectors down in terms of job loss.