Belleville

Fed: Further job growth forecast for region

The state of the St. Louis regional economy is strengthening, with signs of further economic growth anticipated, experts said Tuesday.

Economists shared their research and insights on local employment and hiring at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown St. Louis. Charles Gascon, a regional economist with the St. Louis Federal Reserve, said he believes the region is witnessing a “steady trend” in job growth in referring to the 9,000 additional jobs that are projected for the metropolitan area in the coming months.

“The local economy is looking a lot better than a year ago,” Gascon said.

A new report from the Federal Reserve’s Burgundy Book shows the unemployment rate within the counties throughout Southwestern Illinois and dastern Missouri has declined from 7.2 percent to 5.7 percent within the past year.

Gascon also pointed to the region’s housing sector, which has also been gradually expanding. Between June 2014 and this month, regional home sales have jumped -18.3 percent a year ago to 17.9 percent a year later, which is better than the national average.

“Overall, the real estate market seems to be pretty good,” he said.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 618-239-2526.

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