Jobless rate dips throughout area
CHAMPAIGN — With one exception, unemployment rates for most counties in East Central Illinois have fallen below 7 percent.
The lone holdout is Vermilion County, where the unemployment rate fell in May, but only to 9.4 percent.
Otherwise, most area counties had unemployment rates between 6 and 7 percent, and two area counties — Ford and Moultrie — enjoyed rates under 6 percent.
Champaign County's unemployment rate in May was 6.3 percent, down from 7.1 percent a year earlier, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.
The department estimated that 6,439 people in the county were out of a job and looking for work in May, while 95,862 people were employed.
Among cities, Champaign had a lower unemployment rate than Urbana. Champaign's rate was 6.3 percent, down from 7.2 percent a year earlier, while Urbana's rate was 7 percent, down from 7.8 percent the previous May.
Despite improvements, Vermilion County's rate remained stubbornly high. The department estimated that 3,284 of the 35,015 people in Vermilion County's labor force were out of work and looking for a job in May. In the county seat of Danville, the unemployment rate was 10.3 percent, down from 12 percent a year earlier.
In the Danville metropolitan area, which takes in all of Vermilion County, nonfarm employment dropped by 300, compared with a year earlier. Job gains in retail trade, leisure-hospitality and transportation-warehousing-utilities were outweighed by job losses in government, manufacturing, professional business services and educational-health services.
Meanwhile, the Champaign-Urbana metropolitan area, which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties, saw nonfarm employment increase by 1,000 jobs over the course of the year. The increase came largely as the result of job gains in leisure-hospitality, educational-health services and professional business services.
Even so, there were job losses in certain sectors, notably manufacturing and retail trade.
Unemployment in area counties, 2014 vs. 2013
|County||May '14||May '13|
Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security