MT. VERNON — Unemployment in Jefferson County dropped from 9.4 percent in July to 8.8 percent in August.
The drop is indicative of the falling unemployment in all the surrounding counties. Statewide, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.2 percent — despite an additional 5,900 private sector jobs added to the rolls.
"Job growth without a corresponding drop in the unemployment rate indicates employers are willing to hire if they find a very good, very qualified candidate," stated Jay Rowell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. "Adding jobs without lowering the unemployment rate underscores the uneven nature of this economy and could continue depending how national and global events shape business plans and consumer confidence."
The national unemployment rate for August came in at 7.3 percent. The three month moving average for Illinois is at 9.2 percent and the national average at 7.4 percent.
While the unemployment rate in Jefferson County dropped by .6 percent from July to August, the rate remains unchanged from a year ago in August.
The highest unemployment rate among area counties was posted for Franklin County, which saw a drop from 12.9 percent in July to 12.2 percent in August — the same rate for the county in August 2012.
Perry County unemployment came in the next highest, with an 11 percent; down from 12.7 percent in July and up from the 11.9 percent in August 2012.
Marion County also came in with double-digit unemployment at 10.9 percent, down a point from 11.9 recorded for July. The rate for August is also down from a year ago, when the county had an 11.4 percent unemployment rate.
Wayne County unemployment went from 9 percent to 8 percent, and recored an 8.4 percent unemployment in August 2012.
Hamilton County had an unemployment rate of 7 percent, down from 8.8 percent in July, and down from 8.3 percent recorded in August 2012.
Washington County remains the lowest in local unemployment with a 6.2 percent, down from 7.7 percent in July, and down from 7.3 percent last year.