Most jobless rates in area down a bit from year ago

Most jobless rates in area down a bit from year ago

May unemployment rates for East Central Illinois counties in most cases were slightly lower than May 2012 rates.

The blatant exception was Vermilion County, where the May rate was sharply higher than a year earlier.

Champaign County's unemployment rate was 7 percent in May, up from 6.5 percent in April, but down from 7.2 percent in May 2012.

Meanwhile, Vermilion County's rate was 9.7 percent, up from 8.8 percent in April and 8.7 percent in May 2012.

Here are the May rates for other area counties and their changes from April:

— Coles, 8.4, up from 7.3.

— DeWitt, 7, down from 7.3.

— Douglas, 6.3, up from 6.2.

— Edgar, 7.6, unchanged.

— Ford, 6.7, down from 6.8.

— Iroquois, 6.9, down from 7.2.

— McLean, 6.1, up from 5.8.

— Moultrie, 6.4, up from 6.1.

— Piatt, 6.5, down from 6.7.

All those counties, plus Champaign County, had lower unemployment rates in May than they did a year earlier.

The figures are not adjusted for seasonal variations, making May-to-May figures the most preferable for comparison.

In Champaign County, 7,025 people were out of work and looking for a job in May, while 93,720 people were employed, the department said.

Over the past year, the county had major job gains in government, leisure-hospitality and educational-health services, but job losses in retail trade, manufacturing, construction and information.

In Vermilion County, 3,430 people were out of work and seeking a job in May, while 32,022 people were employed.

The county saw some job gains in retail trade and financial activities over the past year, but job losses in manufacturing, professional-business services and government.

Among area cities, Champaign had the lowest unemployment rate in May — 7 percent, up from 6.5 percent in April.

Urbana's rate was 7.7 percent, up from 7 percent in April, while Danville's was 11.5 percent, up from 9.5 percent in April.

Among the state's 12 metropolitan areas, Champaign-Urbana had the fourth-lowest unemployment rate — 6.9 percent — behind Bloomington-Normal, the Quad Cities and Springfield.

Danville was tied with Kankakee-Bradley for the third-highest unemployment rate among the metro areas. Their rate of 9.7 percent placed them behind Decatur and Rockford.

Eight of the metro areas showed unemployment-rate declines over the past year. The four metro areas that saw rates rise over the past year were Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Danville, Decatur and Peoria.

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