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WJBD - Local News - Unemployment Drops From February, But Is Still Higher Than A Year Ago

Unemployment Drops From February, But Is Still Higher Than A Year Ago

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Marion County's unemployment rate has come down from February, but is still higher than last March.  

Labor Market Economist Dennis Hoffman reports the county's March unemployment rate is 11.7%.   He says that's down from the February rate of 13.5%, but up from the 10.8% last March.

"I think poor weather conditions in March have delayed a lot of construction projects as well as leisure hospitality and retail trade industries.  There has been a steady downward trend in government payrolls both at the local and state level," said Hoffman.  "On the positive side, health care services seems to continue to be a major plus for the region.  There were some payroll advances in professional business services, transportation, wholesale trade and financial activity."

The 11.7% unemployment rate translates into 2,020 being on the unemployment roles, down from 2,370 in February but up from 1,910 last March.  The total number of Marion County residents working is 15,260, an increase of 100 over February.   

Washington County's unemployment rate is the lowest in the region at seven percent.  However, that is three-tenths of a percent higher than last year.  Jefferson County is the only county to see a decline in unemployment since last year, with the current 8.6% unemployment rate one-tenth of a percent better than last year.  Clinton County's unemployment is at 8.3% percent and Fayette County's rate is 10.9%.  Both are one-tenth of a percent higher than last March.  Clay County's rate is up 1.2% from a year ago at 11.5%.   

Hoffman expects unemployment rates will follow the usual pattern of declining during the spring and summer months.  

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