The increase in Danville's unemployment rate over the past year was the second largest of the nation's 372 metropolitan areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.
The Danville metropolitan area, which takes in all of Vermilion County, had a 9.7 percent unemployment rate in May, up from 8.7 percent in May 2012.
That increase of a full percentage point was second only to the 2.1-percentage-point increase in Yuma, Ariz., where the rate surged from 28.7 to 30.8 percent.
Yuma had not only the largest percentage-point increase in the nation, but also the nation's highest unemployment rate in May.
Of the 372 metro areas in the U.S., only 86 had unemployment rates in May that were higher than a year earlier. Three other Illinois metro areas — Chicago, Decatur and Peoria — were among those with increases.
Other states where unemployment rates rose in numerous metro areas included Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The unemployment rates for 253 metro areas dropped over the year, and the rates for 33 areas remained unchanged. Champaign-Urbana's rate fell from 6.3 to 6.1 percent over the year.
The largest unemployment-rate drop over the past year came in El Centro Calif., which had a decline of 5.4 percentage points. Yuba City, Calif., had the second-largest decline, 3.8 percentage points.
Both cities still had extremely high unemployment rates in May, relative to the rest of the nation. El Centro had the second-highest rate in the nation, 22.8 percent, while Yuba City, at 13.9 percent, had the third-highest rate in the 50 states.
The national unemployment rate in May was 7.3 percent, and 205 metro areas had rates below that. Another 154 areas had rates above that, and 13 areas had rates equal to it.
The metro area with the lowest unemployment rate in May was Bismarck, N.D., at 2.4 percent, down from 2.5 percent a year earlier.
It was followed by Fargo, N.D., 3.1 percent; Iowa City, Iowa, 3.2 percent; Sioux Falls, S.D., 3.3 percent; Ames, Iowa, and Midland, Texas, tied at 3.4 percent; and Grand Forks, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb., tied at 3.5 percent.
The bureau said Danville had about 3,400 people out of work and seeking a job in May, up from about 3,100 a year earlier. Over the same period, its civilian labor force declined from 36,100 to 35,500.
The Champaign-Urbana metro area, which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties, had about 5,500 out of work and seeking a job in May, down from about 5,700 a year earlier. During that period, the metro area's civilian labor force increased by 200 to 115,500.