MT. VERNON — The unemployment rate in Jefferson County increased six-tenths of one percent from April to May, coming in at 7.8 percent.
The county rate remained lower than the state unemployment rate for May, which was reported at 9.1 percent; and slightly higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.6 percent.
Illinois businesses added 11,800 private section jobs, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The state has added 54,900 private sector positions compared to last year.
“The encouraging news of private sector job growth shows Illinois businesses are warming to the ida of adding new positions. Growth in construction is particularly encouraging following a cold and wet spring,” stated IDES Director Jay Rowell. “This year also illustrates the volatile nature of the unemployment rate. Up in January and February, unchanged in March, and then down again in April and May. This trend will likely continue as national and global events push consumer confidence.”
Unemployment rates identify those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.
Jefferson County had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent last month, and the May rate of 7.8 percent is an increase of just one-tenth of one percent over a year ago.
Wayne County reported a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in May, which is higher than the 7.2 percent rate reported in April. It is slightly lower than year ago figures, which showed 7.7 percent unemployment in May 2012.
Hamilton County reported a 7.2 percent unemployment rate in May, two-tenths of one percent higher than last month and figures from a year ago.
White County was also at 7.2 percent unemployment in May, compared to 6.5 percent in April and 6.8 percent in May 2012.
Washington County has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Southern Illinois at 5.9 percent in May, up slightly from the 5.7 percent reported in April. In May 2012, the county was at 6.5 percent.
Marion and Franklin counties remain the two regions with high unemployment. Marion County climbed up to 9.9 percent unemployment, compared to 9.6 percent in April, but comparable to May 2012 when the rate was 9.8 percent.
Franklin County’s unemployment rate for May stands at 10.6 percent, compared to 10.2 percent in April, and an increase of 1.1 percent from a year ago when it stood at 9.5 percent.
IDES reported unemployment fell in eight of 21 Southern Illinois counties compared to one year ago. Construction employment opportunities continued with ongoing road and commercial projects while government payrolls continued to decline.