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Unemployment Hits 16-Year Low in St. Charles County

Unemployment rates

The April 2017 unemployment rate in St. Charles County fell to 2.9 percent, a 16-year low, according to the latest, not-seasonally-adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor.

The last time it was this low was in May 2001.

Unemployment rates

The unemployment rate for that same period was 2.7 percent in Wentzville, 2.8 percent in O’Fallon, 3.1 percent in St. Peters, and 3.2 percent in St. Charles City. These are the largest municipalities in the county.

“The local labor market hasn’t been this tight in a very long time,” says Scott J. Drachnik, Director of the St. Charles County Department of Workforce & Business Development. “This is a perfect storm between Baby Boomers retiring, companies creating a lot of new jobs, and this period of full employment that is resulting in fewer job applicants.”

Based on historic trends, Drachnik said a slight uptick in unemployment is expected this summer when high school and college graduates without jobs are included in the monthly figures.

“Because of the fierce competition to find and retain qualified labor, we are starting to see some employers increase their wage and benefits packages. Others also are re-vamping their work culture as our economy shifts from a Baby Boomer-driven workforce to one more focused on Millennial needs and desires,” Drachnik says. “It’s basic supply and demand.”

For more information about the local economy, workforce and business growth assistance, contact the St. Charles County Department of Workforce & Business Development at 636-255-6060, or visit

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