Unemployment rates in February were higher than in January — and also higher than a year earlier — in most East Central Illinois counties.
Champaign County's rate was 9.2 percent, up from 9 percent in January and 8.4 percent in February 2012, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.
Vermilion County's rate was 12.4 percent, up from 11.8 percent in January and 10.9 percent in February 2012.
The state said more people were looking for work in February than a year earlier, contributing to the higher unemployment rates.
In Champaign County, an estimated 9,280 people were out of work and looking for a job in February, while 91,639 were holding down jobs.
Vermilion County had 4,481 people out of work, with 31,678 people employed.
Piatt County was the only area county in which the February unemployment rate was lower than the January rate — 9.3 percent, compared with 9.6 percent.
Here are the February rates for other area counties and their change from January:
— Coles, 9.9, up from 9.8.
— DeWitt, 10.1, up from 9.8.
— Douglas, 9.3, up from 8.5.
— Edgar, 11.4, up from 10.8.
— Ford, 10.1, up from 10.
— Iroquois, 11.1, up from 10.2.
— McLean, 8.1, up from 7.7.
— Moultrie, 9, up from 8.7.
The percentages are not adjusted for seasonal variations.
Among area cities, Champaign saw its rate increase to 9 percent, up from 8.9 percent in January. Urbana's rate jumped from 9.4 percent to 9.6 percent, and Danville's rose from 12.5 percent to 12.6 percent.
The Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area — made up of Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties — saw its unemployment rate increase to 9.3 percent, up from 8.6 percent in February 2012.
Even so, the total number of non-farm jobs in the Champaign-Urbana metro area grew by 1,600 over that time.
The number of jobs increased over the year in government, leisure-hospitality, professional-business services, educational-health services and transportation-warehousing-utilities.
But the number of jobs in manufacturing and retail trade both declined.
In the Danville metropolitan area — which consists only of Vermilion County — the number of non-farm jobs declined by 100 over the year.
More jobs were available in retail trade, financial activities and transportation-warehousing-utilities. There were fewer jobs in government and professional-business services.