Jobless rate falls in most East Central Illinois counties
CHAMPAIGN — Unemployment rates decreased slightly in November in most East Central Illinois counties.
But a few areas saw increases from October, according to statistics released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Champaign County's rate dropped sharply, from 7.7 percent in October to 7.2 percent in November.
Rates also dropped in eight other counties in East Central Illinois. However, Edgar County's rate increased from October while Ford County's stayed the same.
In an unusual twist, Danville's unemployment rate rose sharply, from 10.4 percent in October to 11.3 percent in November — even though Vermilion County's rate slid from 9.9 percent to 9.8 percent.
Danville was also the only city in East Central Illinois where the November unemployment rate was higher than a year earlier. In November 2011, Danville's unemployment rate was 10.9 percent.
The October and November rates for cities and counties are not directly comparable because they aren't adjusted for seasonal variations.
In Champaign County, an estimated 7,372 people were out of work and looking for a job in November, while 94,832 people were employed.
Vermilion County had 3,529 people out of work and seeking employment in November, while 32,354 people held down jobs.
Here are the November unemployment rates for other area counties, along with the change from October:
— Coles, 7.9, down from 8.3.
— DeWitt, 7.3, down from 7.5.
— Douglas, 7, down from 7.2.
— Edgar, 8.9, up from 8.5.
— Ford, 7.5, unchanged.
— Iroquois, 7.3, down from 7.4.
— McLean, 6.1, down from 6.6.
— Moultrie, 6.6, down from 6.7.
— Piatt, 6.5, down from 6.6.
Among area cities, both Champaign and Urbana saw sharp month-to-month decreases in their unemployment rates.
Champaign's rate dropped from 8 percent in October to 7.4 percent in November, while Urbana's fell from 8.9 percent to 7.8 percent.
The Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area — which includes Champaign, Piatt and Ford counties — saw overall non-farm employment increase by 200 jobs from a year earlier. There were 800 additional jobs in the leisure-hospitality sector, the department said, but fewer jobs in construction, government, information and retail trade.
The Danville metropolitan area — made up of only Vermilion County — saw overall non-farm employment fall by 900 jobs over the course of the year. The number of manufacturing jobs rose by 300, but there were net job reductions in retail trade, government and educational-health services.
Brown County in western Illinois had the lowest rate of the state's 102 counties — 4.6 percent.
Fourteen counties had rates of 6.5 percent or lower, with most of those clustered in western and central Illinois.
Alexander County in far southern Illinois had the highest unemployment rate, 11.1 percent, followed closely by Franklin and Montgomery counties, both at 10.9 percent.
Fourteen counties had unemployment rates of 10 percent or more.