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QC Unemployment Drops Again

For the second month in a row, the Quad Cities recorded the lowest unemployment rate of the 12 largest metropolitan area in Illinois. Our rate for August was 6.5 per cent - down half a per cent from the same month last year, and also four-tenths lower than July.

Tom Austin, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, credits job gains in several sectors.

"And those gains were found in industries such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and professional and business services, which also includes your employment services agencies. But the year did experience some declines when we look at industries such as government."

Government employment in the Quad Cities has dropped by 1,000 jobs during the past year, and Austin says that's partly due to the loss of federal government jobs. But he expects this sector will show some improvement in the coming months.

"As the summer ends, we do see gains in local government employment as those individuals who staff the schools and provide services there, such as bus drivers, return from the summer break."

Unemployment rates in Illinois in August ranged from 6.5 per cent in the Quad Cities to 7 per cent in Springfield and 7.2 in Bloomington and Normal. At the other end of the scale were Decatur at 12 per cent and Danville at 11.3.