Unemployment persists in area
CHAMPAIGN — The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high in many urban parts of central Illinois, according to statistics released Thursday by the state Department of Employment Security.
Five of the state's 12 metro areas saw unemployment rate increases in October from a year earlier. Those areas included Champaign-Urbana, Danville, Bloomington-Normal, Decatur and Peoria.
The Champaign-Urbana metro area — which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties — saw its unemployment rate climb to 7.7 percent, up from 7.6 percent a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the Danville metro area, which takes in all of Vermilion County, watched its rate climb to 11.3 percent, up from 9.5 percent a year earlier.
In the Champaign-Urbana metro area, fewer jobs were available in manufacturing, wholesale trade and leisure-hospitality than a year earlier, but more jobs cropped up in government and professional-business services.
The Danville metro area had fewer jobs in manufacturing, government and educational-health services than a year earlier, but gained jobs in construction, wholesale trade and retail trade.
Among the 11 counties in East Central Illinois, five saw unemployment rates go up over the year, four saw them go down and two were unchanged.
Here are the October unemployment percentages for those counties and the change from a year earlier:
— Champaign, 7.8, up from 7.7.
— Coles, 8.2, up from 8.1.
— DeWitt, 7.3, down from 7.6.
— Douglas, 6.9, down from 7.
— Edgar, 8.2, unchanged.
— Ford, 7.1, down from 7.4.
— Iroquois, 7.3, unchanged.
— McLean, 6.9, up from 6.6.
— Moultrie, 6.7, down from 6.8.
— Piatt, 7.2, up from 6.5.
— Vermilion, 11.3, up from 9.5.
In Champaign County, an estimated 7,871 people were out of work and looking for a job in October, while 92,766 were employed.
In Vermilion County, 4,067 people were seeking work, while 31,810 had jobs.
The October rates for both counties were higher than the September rates. But the state said figures for September and October aren't directly comparable because they're not adjusted for seasonal variations.
The cities of Champaign, Urbana and Danville all had higher unemployment rates in October than they did a year earlier. Here are the October rates for those cities:
— Champaign, 8.2, up from 8.1.
— Urbana, 9.1, up from 8.9.
— Danville, 13.9, up from 10.
Ordinarily, local unemployment statistics for a given month are released during the last week of the following month, but the Thanksgiving holiday pushed back the release of October statistics to December.
The September figures were also released Thursday, with those having been delayed because of the federal government shutdown in October.