Jobless rate tumbles, City Cites Job Growth, Shopping Local

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 DECATUR-The jobless rate has taken a major tumble from last year at this time.      The unemployment rate is down from over 12 percent to under eight.
    It's the largest September drop for the area in nearly 40 years, and local economic experts say it means great things for the city.
    One of the big reasons for the trend is that more people are working.
    Patrick Hoban is the economic development officer for the city of Decatur.
    He says construction has seen major growth with new investments in Decatur.  He says this year, they're up 900 construction jobs.
    He says also some small businesses are seeing a boost in consumer spending and a boost in employment.
    "A lot of that has to do with the locals," Hoban says.  "Just the citizens who are here buying locally.  What that does is create confidence which creates more jobs and puts more people back to work."
    There are also 1500 fewer people in Decatur's labor force.  There's been a bump in the number of baby boomers retiring and others have stopped their search for work.  
    Hoban adds that between Decatur and Springfield, there are also 7,000 job listings, so there are still opportunities for job seekers.


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