Unemployment numbers ratcheting up

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unemployment is trending up, both nationally and locally.

On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its June jobs report showing that national unemployment has climbed three straight months and is now at 9.2 percent. This is the highest rate of the year so far.

In the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area, unemployment is on the rise, too, but is still lower than the rest of the country.

While local numbers for June won't be available until later this month, unemployment in the Cape Girardeau area rose from 7.3 percent in April to 7.8 percent in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area covers Cape Girardeau County along with portions of Scott and Bollinger counties in Missouri and Alexander County in Illinois.

Across the country, 18,000 jobs were added in June, but economists expected 90,000 jobs.

While unemployment numbers inch up, so is the amount of debt Americans are racking up.

Americans took on more debt and used their credit cards more in May, according to a Federal Reserve report also released Friday. This is the eighth straight monthly increase in consumer borrowing, which totaled $5.1 billion in May.

In addition to credit card spending, auto loans and student loans also increased in May.

Borrowing is typically a sign of consumer confidence in the economy, but this latest jobs report is bound to shake those feelings of stability.

* New restaurant opens in Jackson: Kimbeland Grill is now open at Kimbeland Country Club, 2175 E. Jackson Blvd. in Jackson. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday.

The restaurant's menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads and wraps. Rib-eye steak and fish dinners are also served. Justin Roth is the restaurant's executive chef. The Kimbeland Grill is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

* Garden Gallery closes: Garden Gallery, 835 Broadway, Suite 100, closed July 1 after eight years. Owner Linda Bohnsack plans to relocate her artist's studio and office to accommodate a new tenant. The studio was home to the Empty Bowls project, an annual event that raised funds to help provide community meals at the Salvation Army in Cape Girardeau. Bohnsack said her studio will continue to support local efforts to "fight hunger one bowl at a time."

Southeast Missourian business reporter Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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