Effingham has a cost of living index that is 15 percent lower than both the state and national averages. The low cost of living is mostly due to inexpensive housing. Housing costs are about 40 percent lower than the state and national averages. Other indices that make Effingham an affordable place to live include health care (92), goods and services (94) and transportation (96).
While Effingham residents enjoy a low cost of living, they also make less money than most people in Illinois. According to the U.S. Census, the median household income in Effingham was $52,108 from 2009 to 2013. The state's median household income was $56,797 during the same period.
Effingham, Illinois Job Opportunities
Effingham is known as the "Crossroads of Opportunity" because it is a major railroad junction and sits near several important roads leading to larger cities. This location has helped attract a large number of manufacturing and distributing jobs.
The area also has several types of health care jobs. St. Anthony's Memorial Hospital is the largest health care provider in Effingham. The area also has clinics and independent doctors' offices that hire professionals with a wide range of experience in health care. Residents who do not have college degrees may want to pursue manufacturing or food service jobs. Though these jobs tend to pay less, they are abundant.
Effingham, Illinois Employment Trends
The Great Recession had a noticeable impact on Effingham's unemployment rate, but residents did not suffer as much as those in many other cities. Just before the recession, the unemployment rate fell from over 6 percent to about 4.3 percent. Job losses pushed the unemployment rate to 8.4 percent in 2010. The area began a slow recovery in 2011.
As of April 2015, Effingham's unemployment rate was just 4 percent. This suggests that the local economy has recovered from the recession and that there are plenty of job opportunities available.