Marion County saw positive trends in its labor force in October as unemployment dipped, the number of unemployed came down and the size of the workforce grew.
The October unemployment rate fell 2.7-percent and was an even five percent. That’s just a half-percent higher than in October a year ago before the pandemic hit. The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports the county’s total workforce grew by 368 persons to 17,562. The number of unemployed fell 450 people to 884.
Washington County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.5-percent, which is down 1.5-percent from September and is actually eight-tenths of a percent better than October of 2019 before the pandemic. Clinton County’s rate fell 1.8-percent from September to an even three percent. Jefferson County’s rate fell three percent to an even five-percent. Fayette County’s rate dipped 2.7-percent to 4.1-percent. Clay County’s rate is at 4.2-percent a drop of 2.9-percent.
Even with the improved numbers, nonfarm employment decreased by 3,850 jobs in the Centralia-Mt. Vernon labor area. The biggest decrease was in manufacturing, down 1,175 jobs. Educational and Health Services fell 850 jobs. Leisure and Hospitality fell 725 jobs. Government jobs were down 325. There was no job sector that saw an increase in the number of jobs from a year ago.