Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.
Missouri has received a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to train more than 4,000 underemployed adults in the health services sector. Governor Jay Nixon led the effort to bring the funds to the state’s 12 or so community colleges. Deborah Goodall is with Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City and said the grant will help equip adults with high demand health care skills.
Illinois' unemployment rate shot up almost half a percentage point in August to 9.9 percent. And state officials are blaming the continuing struggles of the national economy and weak consumer confidence.
Missouri officials say the May 22 tornado in Joplin contributed to the net loss of 13,000 jobs in the state. Joplin alone lost 9,400 jobs in June. The State Department of Economic Development says Missouri’s jobless rate fell from 8.9 percent in May to 8.8 percent in June. In recovery efforts, Gov. Jay Nixon will make a speech Tuesday in Joplin to announce what he calls a “major initiative to address both the near-term and long-term housing needs.”
State officials say unemployment in all 12 Illinois metro areas dropped in May, and all but three of those regions added jobs or were unchanged.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security put out its monthly metro and county-level unemployment stats Thursday. The department says the biggest decreases last month were in Peoria, Rockford, Danville and the Kankakee-Bradley area.
Rockford remains the area with the highest unemployment rate at 10.7 percent. But that's down from 14.2 percent a year earlier.