MT. VERNON — The Jefferson County unemployment rate remained steady from November to December, but is still higher than the rate reported for the state.
According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the rate for the state was at 8.6 percent, falling for the fourth consecutive month. While the rate is falling in the state, it is still well above the national unemployment rate of 6.5 percent in December.
“Although the bitter cold and snow temporarily interrupted seven consecutive months of job growth, the fundamentals of our economy remain sound and reflect moderate economic expansion moving forward,” stated IDES Director Jay Rowell.
Since January 2010, when compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 35 months and job loss in 13 months. The unemployment rate fell in 28 months, increased in nine and was unchanged in 11 months.
In Jefferson County, the 9.1 unemployment rate reported for December is the same as the rate for November, but was .6 percent higher than December 2012, when the rate was reported at 8.5 percent.
Area counties are in a similar pattern. Franklin County remains at the highest unemployment rate, coming in with a 12.7 percent for December, up slightly from 12.4 in November. The rate is up slightly from 12 percent reported in December 2012.
Perry County comes in with the next highest unemployment rate, with 12 percent in December,
up from 11.5 percent in November. During December 2012, the county had a rate of 11.4 percent.
Marion County remains in the double-digits for unemployment, with 11.2 percent for December, up very slightly from 11.1 in November. The rate recorded in December 2012 was at 11.5 percent.
Wayne County unemployment was also up slightly, with a 8.7 percent in December, up from 8.4 percent in November. The rate remained steady from the same month the year before.
Hamilton County was reported with a 7.9 percent unemployment rate, up slightly from 7.2 percent in November. The rate was lower than the previous year, when the rate was recorded at 8.4 percent.
Washington County continues to boast the lowest unemployment rate for area counties, with 6.6 percent in December, up slightly from 6.5 in November and up slightly from 6.5 percent reported in December 2012.