Local unemployment shows little improvement

Unemployment rates in East Central Illinois haven't budged much from a year ago, figures from the state Department of Employment Security show.

Four of the 11 counties in the region had higher unemployment rates in July than they did a year earlier. Seven had lower rates, but only by scant amounts.

The month-to-month change wasn't encouraging either. Ten of the 11 counties saw increases from June to July, with particularly steep jumps in Vermilion and Ford counties.

Champaign County's unemployment rate was 9.2 percent in July, up from 9.1 percent in June — but down from 9.3 percent in July 2011.

Vermilion County's rate was 11.1 percent in July, up from 10.5 percent in June — and up from 10.9 percent in July 2011.

The only area county that showed a June-to-July drop was Coles County, where the rate fell from 10.8 percent to 10.5 percent. Even so, that wasn't much better than the year-ago rate of 10.7 percent. The state does not adjust local figures for seasonal employment variations.

Several metropolitan areas in Illinois did see year-to-year declines in the unemployment rate in July — most notably, Chicago, Rockford, Peoria and Kankakee, many of which have large manufacturing sectors.

Springfield, Decatur and the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metro region had higher rates than they did a year ago, while the rates for Champaign-Urbana, Bloomington-Normal and Davenport-Moline-Rock Island were unchanged.

In the Champaign-Urbana metro region, non-farm employment was down 900 from a year earlier, with the biggest job declines coming in the government sector and the biggest increases in the leisure-hospitality sector.

In the Danville metro region, non-farm employment was down 1,300 from a year earlier. Manufacturing was up by 100 jobs, but there were fewer jobs in retail trade, education-health services and wholesale trade.

In the city of Danville, the unemployment rate jumped from 11 percent in June to 12.3 percent in July. Among other cities, Champaign saw an increase from 9.4 percent to 9.5 percent, while Urbana's rate remained 10.8 percent.

Here are the July rates for other area counties and the change from June:

— DeWitt, 8.2, up from 8.

— Douglas, 8.7, up from 8.4.

— Edgar, 9.7, up from 9.5.

— Ford, 9.7, up from 8.9.

— Iroquois, 8.2, up from 8.1.

— McLean, 7.7, up from 7.6.

— Moultrie, 8, up from 7.7.

— Piatt, 8.6, up from 8.4.

The counties with the highest unemployment rates in July were clustered in southern Illinois — Alexander, 13.3 percent; Franklin, 12.5 percent; Pulaski, 12.3 percent; and Perry and Union, each with 12 percent.

That's a switch from a few months ago, when two counties in the Rockford area — Winnebago and Boone — habitually had the highest rates.

Counties with the lowest unemployment rates were: Brown, 5.1 percent; and Adams and Woodford, both at 6.8 percent. Brown and Adams are in west central Illinois, while Woodford is northeast of Peoria.

The Department of Employment Security, which released the July figures Thursday, said 9,030 people in Champaign County were out of work and seeking a job in July, while 89,470 people were employed. In Vermilion County, 3,980 people were out of work and seeking employment while 31,728 were holding down jobs.

Sections (2):News, Business
Topics (2):Economy, Employment
Categories (4):News, Economy, Employment, Business

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