Champaign and Vermilion counties saw big unemployment-rate drops in November, according to figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Champaign County's rate dropped to 7.8 percent in November, down from 8.6 percent in October. It was the county's lowest rate since May.
An estimated 8,186 people in Champaign County were out of work and seeking a job in November, while 96,479 people were employed.
Vermilion County's rate fell to 9.9 percent in November after hitting 10.8 percent in October. June was the last time Vermilion County's rate was so low.
The department estimated that 3,621 people in Vermilion County were out of a job and seeking work in November, while 32,900 were employed.
All counties in East Central Illinois but one had unemployment-rate drops in November. Ford County, the lone exception, saw its rate rise from 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent.
Some of the biggest monthly rate drops occurred in area cities:
— Danville's rate fell from 12.4 percent to 11 percent.
— Urbana's shrank from 9.6 percent to 8.5 percent.
— Champaign's dropped from 8.7 percent to 7.8 percent.
Here are the November rates for other area counties and the change from October:
— Coles, 8.2, down from 8.7.
— DeWitt, 7.9, down from 8.2.
— Douglas, 7.9, down from 8.2.
— Edgar, 9.4, down from 9.5.
— Iroquois, 8.1, down from 8.7.
— McLean, 6.8, down from 7.3.
— Moultrie, 6.8, down from 7.3.
Among Illinois counties, Brown County in western Illinois had the lowest rate by far — 4.4 percent. It was followed by Adams, Henderson and Woodford counties, all at 6.3 percent.
The county with the highest unemployment rate was Montgomery, at 12.4 percent. Second-highest was Winnebago County at 11.9 percent, followed by Boone, Ogle, Alexander, Calhoun, Marion and Union counties.
Among the state's 12 metropolitan areas, 10 had unemployment-rate drops in November, compared with the same month a year ago, while two saw increases. The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area saw its rate climb to 9.8 percent, compared with November of last year. Springfield's rate had only a slight bump-up, from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent.
Bloomington-Normal had the lowest rate among Illinois metros — 6.8 percent. The highest rate was 11.9 percent in Rockford.
Despite having unemployment-rate drops over the year, Champaign-Urbana and Danville were the only two Illinois metro areas that had fewer non-farm jobs in November than they had a year earlier.
According to the department, the Champaign-Urbana metro area (made up of Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties) had 108,800 non-farm jobs in November, down from 112,200 in November 2010.
The Danville area had 29,000 non-farm jobs in November, or 200 less than a year earlier.