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home : local news : local news

10/2/2013 5:20:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Unemployment picture improves in county
LAWRENCEVILLE - After three consecutive months of rising unemployment in Lawrence County, the tide has turned.

August figures, recently released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), show unemployment in the county at 7.9 percent, an improvement over the 8.5 percent in July and the 8.3 percent in June.

Other jobless rates in 2013, reported by the IDES have been: 7.3 percent in May, a low of 6.8 in April, 8.4 in March, 9.9 in February and 9.8 in January.

Looking at the 2013 figures for the county indicate that August's 7.9 percent unemployment was the third best of the year over the first eight months.

The 7.9 percent in August is also considerably better than the 9.0 percent jobless rate a year ago, in August of 2012.

Area counties also showed improvement with Crawford at 9.1 percent after  a 9.5 percent in July. Richland County improved from 10.8 percent in July to 9.5 percent in August.

Wabash County improved from 8.4 to 7.8 percent, making it the lowest among Lawrence and its three adjoining Illinois counties.

Looking at the actual number of unemployed workers, registered with IDES, shows Crawford County has the most employable people not working, 841.

There are 598 unemployed people in Lawrence County, 628 in Richland and 442 in Wabash.

Unemployed workers, on file with IDES, from other area counties are as follows include: Clay 589, Edwards 238, Jasper 355, Clark 689, and Wayne 587.

Highest unemployment in the area was in Clay County, where Louisville is the county seat and Flora the largest community. A year ago, Clay County's jobless rate was 11 percent, the same as one month ago.

The highest unemployment rate in the state was in the southern-most county in Illinois, Alexander. Alexander County's rate for August was 12.5 percent, a half-perent higher than a month ago. Cairo is the county seat.

The second highest jobless rate was also a southern Illinois county with 12.2 percent in Franklin, where Benton is the county seat and West Frankfort the largest community.

Coming in third was Macon County, at 12.0, which is an improvement over the 13.1 percent a month ago. Decatur, with a population of about 110,000 people, is the largest city in Macon County.

Tiny Brown County in the west-central portion of the state, had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.5 percent.

The state's unemployment rate improved from 9.5 percent in July to 9.0 percent in August. A year ago, the Illinois unemployment rate was also 9.0.

How does that stack up with the nation? Not very well. The national unemployment rate in August was 7.3 percent, a little better than the 7.7 percent in July and considerably better than the 8.2 percent in August of 2012.



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