By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
The unemployment rate in Jefferson County dropped from 8.2 percent in October to 7.9 percent in November, a rate that is also lower than that reported a year ago.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the local unemployment statistics for the month of November on Thursday, with Jefferson County’s rate coming in .7 percent less than it was a year ago.
In addition, the Jefferson County rate is less than the rate in Illinois, which was at 8.7 percent. The rate in the county was set at .2 points above the national rate, which was at 7.7 percent.
Statewide, the three month average unemployment rate was reported at 8.8 percent, while the three month average nation-wide is 7.8 percent. According to the IDES, unemployment rates fell in 11 of 12 metro areas in the state.
“The trend of falling unemployment rates across Illinois shows that our economy continues to improve,” stated IDES Director Jay Rowell. “The largest challenge to local economic growth is the fiscal cliff. Economic progress could slow at every level and we risk another recession if Congress does not work together to craft a solution.”
Jefferson County ranked 50 out of 102 counties in the state for its unemployment during November. The county with the best unemployment in state was Brown County, with 4.6 percent, followed by Adams County with 5.7 percent and McLean County with 6.1 percent unemployment.
Those counties with the highest unemployment for November were Alexander County with 11.1 percent, Franklin County and Montgomery counties tied for the second and third spots with 10.9 percent and Marion County came in with the fourth highest unemployment at 10.8 percent.
Of the local counties, Franklin County did see a decrease in unemployment from October, when the rate was at 11.1 percent. Last year in November, the unemployment rate in Franklin County was at 10.8 percent.
In Marion County, it’s 10.8 percent unemployment report for November is slightly higher than in October, when 10.7 percent was reported. However, the November 2012 unemployment rate is the same from last year at 10.8 percent for Marion County.
Rates reported for other area counties are: