City of Jackson prides itself in having some of the lowest unemployment rates in nation

By Crystal Britt

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - While the national unemployment rate continues to climb, some Heartland cities are bucking that trend. 

Jackson, Missouri has a population of 14,000 people.  The Cape Girardeau County city has industries, a large school district, and a number of retail stores to keep it thriving.

The Chamber of Commerce is proud to say unemployment rates there are among the lowest in the nation.  
Chamber Director Brian Gerau says recent research puts numbers there at 5.5 percent.  
"They're predicting nationally to go up almost to 11 percent and to be half that is very impressive," said Brian Gerau. 
He credits a good real estate market and well run businesses.  
"We've talked with businesses in the automotive industry, and furniture businesses who are saying they had very good months in January, February and March," said Gerau. "They've gone as far as saying it's better this year than last year."  
Eddie Ross says business at Ross Furniture is going very well.
"We have been surprised it's better than it's supposed to be, but we think it's the community," said Eddie Ross.
Soon they'll celebrate 30 years in business. They opened September 1979.  
"It was a rough economy back then and in the early 80's we were hit then," said Ross. "About every 10 years, and you just work harder and smarter."
He tries to ignore the national trends.
"The news gets depressing," said Ross.
"Right now where we are currently, I think we've weathered that storm," said Gerau. 
Part of the storm includes some layoffs and losses of businesses like Quiznos here recently, and Blockbuster Video.
"The fact that we didn't get hit as hard as some areas nationally is really a good sign because if that was the worst, I think we're in good shape," said Gerau. 
Chamber Director Brian Gerau says his city isn't alone in bucking the national trend.  He says Cape Girardeau's pretty well right with Jackson with a 5.5 percent unemployment rate.
Of course those rates have increased a bit, but nothing like what the national has seen elsewhere in the country.