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QC Unemployment Went Down in March

You could call it the calm before the storm. Unemployment in the Quad Cities went down in March, just ahead of the huge numbers of applications that have since been filed due to the pandemic.

Tom Austin, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says the rate went from 4.8 per cent a year ago, to 4.2 per cent last month. But overall, our area lost 800 jobs.

"Most of that coming from the professional and business services sector as well as the manufacturing sector. We did see some gains - the largest ones were found in health services, as well as leisure and hospitality, and construction."

Some of the changes were seasonal, such as an increase in construction employment, but he says the coronavirus also had some impact.

The full impact of COVID-19 is expected to be felt in the May when the April figures are released - some economists are forecasting unemployment in the US could go as high as 20 per cent. 

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.
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