By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — — Unemployment in Jefferson County went up just over one percentage point in January.
Rates for January in the counties throughout the state were released this week, with most Southern Illinois counties seeing at least a 1 percentage point increase from December 2012 to January.
In Jefferson County, the unemployment rate in January was reported at 9.6 percent, up from 8.5 percent in December, but right on track with the unemployment rate in the county in January 2012, which was reported at 9.5 percent.
According to IDES Director Jay Rowell, the upward trend in unemployment comes as no surprise.
"Increases in the unemployment rate and newly created jobs are expected each January," Rowell stated. "The new year encourages employers to hire and workers to re-energize their work search. We now need to better understand how the federal budget reductions through sequestration will pressure the economy, especially consumer confidence and hiring efforts."
The state unemployment rate for January came in at 10.1 percent, up from 8.6 percent in December, and up from 9.7 percent in January 2012. Nationally, the unemployment rate for January was reported at 8.5 percent, up from 7.6 percent in December and up .3 points from a year ago in January.
Some counties surrounding Jefferson were in double-digit unemployment in January. Franklin County remains near the top of the list in the state for its unemployment rate, which was at 13.7 percent in January, up from 12 percent in December. The increase was also up from a year ago, when the county showed a 12.1 percent unemployment rate.
Marion County came in with a 13.4 percent unemployment rate in January, up from 11.5 percent in December. The January rate was almost a two point difference between the months, and is 1.5 percent higher than a year ago, when the rate was at 11.9 percent.
Wayne County also was in the double-digits for unemployment, with 10.3 percent in January, up from 8.7 percent in December, and up from 9.4 percent in January 2012.
Hamilton County was at 9.7 percent unemployment in January, up from 8.4 percent in December. There was an 8.7 percent unemployment rate in the county in January 2012.
White County came in with an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in January, up from 7.6 percent in December and up slightly from 8.4 percent reported a year ago in January.
Washington County boasted an 8 percent unemployment rate in January, up from 6.5 percent in December, and up from 7.5 percent in January 2012.