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Unemployment Fell in April


Unemployment in the Quad Cities fell again in April - to 3.5 per cent, from 4.1 per cent at this time a year ago.

Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says the improvement was mainly due to more jobs in professional and business services, and manufacturing.

"Those two are somewhat related in the sense that professional and business services has staffing management companies which help feed into the manufacturing sector."

Just in those two categories, the Quad Cities gained 2,600 jobs.

The declines in April occurred in construction, and retail. 

"As you know, retail trade has been hit over a period of months and that reflects changes we typically see in the retail trade industry where there'a little bit of churning - one store closes and another one opens. But an overall decline as competition has increased from online retail companies. "

Overall Austin says it's a good report, and part of a statewide trend.

"But when we look over the year there's strong gains in the number of people employed, so it's not just people leaving the labor force that help contribute to  that unemployment rate decline. It's actually more people are employed in the area."

The Quad Cities April unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent means about 6,700 people were out of work and looking for jobs. And it was the lowest April rate since 2,000 when it was 3.3 per cent here. 

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.