Congressman Shimkus Has Regional Business Economic Briefing

Congressman John Shimkus (right) at Kaskaskia College

The Kaskaskia College Lifelong Learning Center was the location of a recent Regional Economic Briefing hosted by Congressman John Shimkus.

Charles Gascon, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis was the guest speaker. Gascon presented an overview of the national economy and then concentrated on the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank district, which encompasses all of southern Illinois, and finally local economies.

Population in the region has decreased and the median household income is $33,741.00 while the average home price is $64,700.00 which means housing is very affordable.

There is a growing need for IT professionals, specifically programmers and developers. The unemployment rate is dropping but remains higher than the national average. Business outlook is generally optimistic with 43% of surveyed businesses expecting business conditions to be better in the near term.