Thanks in part to manufacturing, unemployment dropped again in the Quad Cities last month. The rate fell from 5.5 per cent a year ago, to 4.4 per cent in February.
Tom Austin, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says we gained jobs last month in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional business services. But there were also some declines - the biggest decline was in the number of retail jobs.
"We typically see as we look at February data, as well as January, some of that is due to seasonal trends. But we're also seeing some changes in the retail sector - we're seeing less brick and mortar stores and more online. So that has some effect when we look at retail trade employment."
The number of Quad Cities area residents considered unemployed, that is out of work and looking for a job, was 8,400 in February - 2,000 less than at this time last year.
And the last time February unemployment was this low or lower, occurred in 1998.
Unemployment declined last month in every major metro area in Illinois except Chicago where it stayed the same.