Latest unemployment figures show decreases

      There's encouraging economic news in northeast Missouri.

      The jobless rate for September dropped in all but one county.

      Unemployment in Monroe County dropped back into single digits for the first time in almost three years. It had been as high as 15-point-nine percent in January of last year.

      The decreases for September also were dramatic in Clark and Shelby counties.

      Knox, Marion, Pike and Ralls counties also saw substantial reductions. Lewis County recorded a slight increase.

      Despite the good news, the rates are nowhere near the levels of the period before the recession began in late 2007.

      Following are the jobless percentage rates by county, first for September and then for August 2011:

      Clark: 7.3 percent, 9.1 percent

      Knox: 5.7 percent, 6.6 percent

      Lewis: 6.4 percent, 6.2 percent

      Lincoln: 9 percent, 9.4 percent

      Macon: 7 percent, 7.7 percent

      Marion: 6.6 percent, 7.2 percent

      Monroe: 9.8 percent, 10.4 percent

      Pike: 7.7 percent, 8.4 percent

      Ralls: 6.6 percent, 7.2 percent

      Scotland: 6.5 percent, 6.9 percent

      Shelby: 6.5 percent, 7.6 percent