Mt. Vernon Register-News

March 14, 2014

County unemployment up

The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Unemployment in Jefferson County came in at 9.1 percent in January.

The local unemployment statistics, released Thursday, showed a .1 percent increase from December 2013 to January.

Statewide unemployment was reported at 8.7 percent for January.

“Despite a falling unemployment rate and a growing labor force, there were 27,600 fewer jobs than one month ago,” information from the Illinois Department of Employment Security states. “The three numbers not moving in tandem is unusual. More people looking for work applies upward pressure on the unemployment rate, and yet it fell. A falling rate usually pairs with job growth, yet the initial estimate suggests the opposite. That the initial monthly data can move in conflicting directions is possible because the data derived from different surveys. Employment data comes from individuals and job data comes from employers. To be determined is if the breadth of this particular monthly movement is more closely aligned with a winter cooler and snowier than normal or a temporary slowdown in national economic growth.”

The Jefferson County rate of 9.1 percent for January is down slightly from January 2013, when the rate was reported at 9.4 percent.

In other surrounding counties, Franklin County, which has been in double-digit unemployment for months, came in with the highest rate in January, reported at 13.3 percent, up from 12.9 in December and down slightly from January 2013, when unemployment was reported in the county at 13.8 percent.

Perry County, also in the double-digits, came in with an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent, up from 11.7 percent in December and down from 13.2 percent reported in January 2013.

Marion County was the third county with double-digit unemployment, at 11.3 percent, down slightly from 11.4 percent in December and down 2 percent from a year ago, when unemployment was reported at 13.3 percent.

Wayne County unemployment was at 9.5 percent in January, down from 9.6 percent in December and down from 10.1 percent in January 2013; Hamilton County unemployment came in at 9 percent in January, up from 7.9 in December and down from the 9.5 percent reported in January 2013.

Washington County remains the spot with the lowest unemployment in the area, coming in at 7.3 percnet in January, up from 6.5 percent in December and down from 8 percent in January 2013.