Losing jobs is never a good thing

June 21, 2014 

St. Clair County has the dubious distinction of being last among the 334 large U.S. counties in jobs created, according to a new U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. While 292 of those counties recorded job growth, St. Clair County had lost 3.1 percent of its jobs between December 2012 and December 2013. Madison County's number declined 0.4 percent.

According to one published report, St. Clair County Economic Director Terry Beach was puzzled and couldn't explain the low ranking, which is almost as troubling as the number itself. Others pointed to the loss of temporary construction jobs at the now completed Prairie State Energy Campus project.

But the completion of that project and of the Phillips 66 refinery expansion were the reasons given for steep job losses in Madison and St. Clair counties between June 2011 and June 2012. By the way, our area also ranked dead last for that prior reporting period.

Whatever the explanation, this is not where we want to be.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service