unemployment

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

State officials say the March unemployment rate dropped in every Illinois metropolitan area for a record seventh consecutive month.

A report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that the Rockford metropolitan area with the state's highest unemployment rate, at 13.3 percent. That's almost 4 percentage points lower than the same time last year.

The Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area March rate was second-highest, at 12.7 percent.

Other metro areas with jobless rates over 10 percent were:

NPR's Tamara Keith continues her year-long occasional series on unemployment, entitled "The Road Back to Work" tracking six St. Louis residents.

Here's the latest from the series:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation restoring federally funded jobless benefits to thousands of Missourians, but cutting aid to people laid off in the future.

Nixon's signature Wednesday means retroactive payments will go out later this week or early next week to about 10,000 people whose eligibility for unemployment benefits ended April 2. It also means that people who lose their jobs on Sunday or later will be eligible for just 20 weeks of state-funded benefits instead of 26.

Flickr/David_Shane

Missouri Lawmakers Give Final Approval to Federally Funded Jobless Payments

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill renewing federally funded jobless payments for thousands of people who lost their benefits because of a protest against federal spending by several Republican state senators. The House voted 138-13 Tuesday to send the legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon.

Flickr/jimbowen0306

Missouri Senate to Debate Marquee Issues Today

Missouri Senate leaders plan to debate legislation redrawing Missouri's congressional districts and allowing utilities to charge electric customers for some costs of developing a second nuclear power plant in the state. Both bills are likely to generate significant discussion.

via Flickr/KellyB.

A new report says Missouri's March unemployment rate fell by three-tenths of a point to 9.1 percent.

Monday's report from the state Department of Economics also says Missouri employers added a net of more than 24,000 jobs last month.

The hospitality and leisure sector had the biggest gain, adding about 6,300 jobs, while retailers added 5,800 jobs. Other notable increases were construction, with 4,200 jobs added, and business and professional services, up by 2,700 jobs.

via Flickr/J_D_R

Starting next year, Illinois businesses will see a tax increase and the recently unemployed will lose a week of unemployment benefits.

That's because of a compromise bill passed this month in the Illinois Legislature.

The Rockford Register Star reports the deal is part of a longer-term plan to help contribute to Illinois' depleted unemployment trust fund, which is $3 billion in debt to the U.S. Treasury.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Four Missouri State Senators have ended their filibuster of legislation to draw down $105 million in extended federal unemployment benefits.

On Wednesday, the four senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), had offered to end their filibuster if Governor Jay Nixon (D) would reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.

(via Flickr/FiredUpMissouri)

A group of fiscally conservative Republicans in the Missouri Senate are willing to end their filibuster of a bill to draw down federal unemployment benefits, if Democratic Governor Jay Nixon agrees to reject $300 million in federal stimulus funds.   

Senator Jim Lembke (R, Lemay) has been leading the effort.  He says the $300 million covers several “pork barrel pet projects.”

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon took the Republican-led Missouri Senate to task today for blocking federal aid for public schools and thousands of unemployed workers.   

Jobless benefits end Saturday for 10,000 of out-of-work Missouri residents because a group of Senators, led by Jim Lembke (R, Lemay), has been blocking the enabling bill.  Lembke says they’re sending a message that Washington needs to rein in spending.

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