Unemployment in Crawford County changed little between August and August 2011.
According to statistics provided by Illinois Department of Employment Security Job Market Analyst Dennis Hoffman, 9.3 percent of the county's work force was unemployed during August. This was up slightly from 9 percent a year earlier, but down from 9.8 percent in July.
In Clark County, the rate was 10.8 percent, down from 11.5 percent in 2011 and unchanged from July. Lawrence County posted a 8.7 percent rate, down from 9.4 percent last year and 8.9 percent a month earlier.
The Jasper County jobless rate was 9.3 percent. It was up from 8.6 percent last August and 8.7 percent in July.
Workforce conditions remained stable at the end of the summer throughout South Central lllinois, Hoffman said. Unemployment declined in 15 of the 18 counties compared to one year ago.
"Employment gains were reported in transportation. leisure/hospitality, and professional/business services," he explained.
"The start of a new school year renewed education payrolls and students began leaving the labor market to return to the classroom in mid-August," Hoffman added.
"Significant construction projects continued on health care facilities, schools and roads. Some of the major medical facility and school projects have recently been completed or are near completion."
The jobless rate identifies those who are out of work and actively seeking employment, even if they have exhausted their unemployment benefits. The IDES is working to weed out unemployment cheats.
The state is getting a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Labor Department to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud involving unemployment claims.
The IDES said this week it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats; working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations. Those efforts have saved taxpayers more than $120 million.
Rising unemployment claims take money from a trust fund supported by business taxes. When the fund gets too low, business taxes go up. So, preventing false claims takes some of the pressure off the unemployment trust fund.
Meanwhile, in Indiana, Vigo County posted a rate of 9.8 percent. This was down from 10.1 percent last August and 10.5 percent in July.
Sullivan County's rate was 11.3 percent, up from 9.5 percent last year and 11.1 percent a month earlier. In Knox County, the rate was 6.8 percent. This was up from 6.7 percent last year but down from the 7.2-percent rate reported in July.
Statewide, the average jobless rate in Illinois was 9.1 percent in July. This was down slightly from 9.9 percent in 2012 and 9.3 percent in July. The Indiana rate was 8 percent, down from 8.7 percent last year and 8.3 percent in July.
The national unemployment rate in July was 8.1 percent. This was down from 9.1 percent last year and 8.6 percent a month before.