Jobless rates higher for most area counties

Champaign County's unemployment rate hit 9 percent in January, while Vermilion County's rate climbed to 11.8 percent, the state Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Both rates were up from December — and also up from January 2012.

Business and professional briefs March 10, 2013

New jobs

Kempen joins First Financial. John N. Kempen of Mahomet has joined First Financial Bank as senior commercial lending executive for the bank's Western Illinois Region.

That region includes Champaign, Vermilion, McLean and Livingston counties. Kempen will work from the office at 1205 S. Neil St., C.

Jobless crisis dwarfs debt's urgency, expert says

Economist worried over long-term effects on young unemployed

CHAMPAIGN — The United States faces an unemployment crisis that demands more immediate attention than the nation's debt problem, Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond said.

Updated: Danville plant to idle 254 workers

Updated 4:47 p.m. Wednesday.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said the plant would close).

DANVILLE — Freight Car America Inc. is idling its Danville plant, according to company officials.

Working in Champaign County

From a new Census Bureau report on county of residence and county of workplace, here is where people come from to work in Champaign County. From the American Community Survey, 2006-2010. 

Career centers at Centennial, Central plan open houses

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign's Centennial and Central high schools both have new College and Career Centers, and they're both inviting the public to visits.

The College and Career Centers at both schools are now open in newly renovated spaces, and they're hosting open houses this month.

Union ready to strike against UI as 'last resort'

CHAMPAIGN — A campus labor union has told the University of Illinois of its intent to strike soon.

Vermilion County seeing interest in leased housing

DANVILLE — In the last few years, local economic development officials at Vermilion Advantage have seen a trend among professionals moving to the area and preferring temporary housing options rather than buying.

C-U slips, Danville rises in ranking based on jobs, wages

CHAMPAIGN — A report from the Milken Institute on America's best-performing cities found Champaign-Urbana was slipping in 2012 while Danville was climbing.

Rally part of union push in five states

URBANA — About 50 people turned out for a rally near Flex-N-Gate's Guardian West plant in Urbana on Wednesday, calling for the company to pay better wages.

The rally was one of seven simultaneous gatherings the United Auto Workers held at Flex-N-Gate plants in five states.