By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
The unemployment rate in Jefferson County went up to 8.6 percent in December from 7.9 in November.
According to information released from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the rate is lower than it was in December 2011, when the county was at 9.1 percent unemployment. The county rate is below the state unemployment rate, which came in at 8.7 percent in December.
“Illinois’ long-term trend is that of moderate growth punctuated by monthly up-and-down movement in the unemployment rate and the number of people working,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “This positive trend still is threatened by Congress and its continued deliberations on the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff.”
Of surrounding counties, three have lower unemployment rates recorded for December — Washington County, White County and Hamilton County.
The rate in Washington County for December was at 6.8 percent, up from 6.5 in November, and up from 7.5 in December 2011.
White County boasted a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in December, up from 7.1 percent in November and down from 8.1 percent in December 2011.
Hamilton County reported an 8.4 percent unemployment rate in December, up a percentage point from 7.4 in November, and up from the 8.2 percent unemployment reported in December 2011.
Wayne County reported an 8.7 percent unemployment rate for December, up from 8.1 percent in November, and up from 8.5 percent in December 2011.
Marion County came into the double-digits, with an 11.3 percent unemployment rate in December, up from 10.8 percent in November and up slightly from 11.2 in December 2011.
Franklin County continues to struggle with its unemployment rate, coming in at 11.9 percent unemployment in December, up from 10.9 in November and up from 11.3 in December 2011.