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QC Unemployment Continues to Fall

After reaching a peak when the pandemic began, unemployment in the Quad Cities has continued to fall. It was 4.3 per cent in March, down from 6.3 per cent at this time a year ago.

Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security says this area also added 4,800 jobs during the past year.

"A positive trend when you look at both the unemployment rate and the number of people who are not unemployed, as well as job growth, especially in those industries that were hard hit during the pandemic - leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and a strong industry in the Quad Cities area - manufacturing is also seeing some positive gains."

The Quad Cities did lose some jobs - in education and health services and in construction.

When the pandemic began in April of 2020, unemployment here hit 15.2 per cent - the highest level for the month of April in 40 years - and we lost 21,000 jobs.

Unemployment in March fell from the previous year in 13 metro areas in Illinois, and rose slightly in one - in Rockford.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois. While a graduate student in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield (then known as Sangamon State University), he got his first taste of public radio, covering Illinois state government for WUIS. Here in the Quad Cities, Herb worked for WHBF Radio before coming to WVIK in 1987. Herb also produces the weekly public affairs feature Midwest Week – covering the news behind the news by interviewing reporters about the stories they cover.