MT. VERNON — May unemployment came in at 6.8 percent in Jefferson County — up slightly from 6.3 percent reported in April.
The slight increase of .5 percent comes after three months of falling unemployment numbers. Jefferson County was at 9.4 percent in February, then at 7.7 percent in March, before falling to 6.3 percent in April.
Although up slightly from April, the May 2014 unemployment is significantly lower than a year ago, when the unemployment was at 8 percent.
On the state front, unemployment in May fell to 7.5 percent — the lowest rate posted since November 2008.
“May brings us another month of encouraging data,” said Jay Rowell, director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security. “More people are working and the unemployment rate is falling. May also reminds us as we continue to improve and move forward, more needs to be done to bring this progress to every doorstep.”
Rowell reported the May unemployment rate is in line with other economic indicators.
“First time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in May were 25.5 percent lower than one year ago,”
information from IDES states. “Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in May advertised for more than 203,000 jobs (192,500 seasonally adjusted) and 85 percent sought full-time work.”
Area counties have seen a drop in unemployment away from the double-digits during the past two months. Franklin County, which has historically been one of the highest unemployment areas, was at 9.6 percent unemployment in May, up slightly from 9.4 percent in April. Unemployment in Franklin County was at 11.2 percent in May 2013.
Marion County, another high local unemployment area, was at 9 percent in May, up from 8.4 percent in April. The rate was still lower than a year ago, when the unemployment rate for Marion County was at 10.2 percent.
Wayne County had an unemployment rate of 7 percent in May, up slightly from 6.8 percent in April, but down from the 7.7 percent reported in May 2013.
Hamilton County tied with Jefferson County on unemployment for May, coming in with 6.8 percent — which was steady from April. The rate was lower than a year ago, when Hamilton County reported 7.3 percent unemployment.
Washington County remains the area county with the lowest unemployment, boasting 5.3 percent in May, up slightly from 5 percent reported in April. The rate is also lower than a year ago, when Washington County was at 6.1 percent unemployment.