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October 20, 2017

9/26/2017 1:52:00 PM
August jobless rates stable in county, area
Crawford County's unemployment rate was relatively stable in August.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, 5.5 percent of the county's work force was unemployed but actively seeking new jobs during the month. This compares to 5.6 percent in August 2016 and 5.4 percent in July.

All area counties posted lower jobless rates in August than a year earlier, although many showed slight increases over July's figures, IDES reported.

In Clark County, the rate was 4.7 percent. This was down from 5.5 percent last year and 4.8 percent the previous month.

Lawrence County, meanwhile, posted a 6.3 percent jobless rate. This was down from 7.6 percent in 2016 and unchanged from July.

The Jasper County rate, at 4.8 percent, was down from 6.1 percent last year and 5 percent in July.

In Indiana, Vigo County reported a 4.7 percent rate. This was down from 5.6 percent a year earlier, but up from 4.1 percent the previous month.

Sullivan County was also at 4.7 percent for August, down from 6.1 percent last year but up from 4.2 percent in July.

Four percent of the Knox County work force was unemployed. This was down from 4.5 percent in 2016 but up from 3.4 percent in July.

Illinois' statewide unemployment rate in August was 5.2 percent. This was down slightly from 5.5 percent a year earlier. It was up from the 4.9 percent rate posted in July.

Nonfarm payrolls decreased by 3,700 jobs from July, based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. July job growth was revised down to show an increase of 600 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 2,100 jobs.

August's monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average.

While Illinois job growth has had its ups and downs since the beginning of the year, the three-month trend shows average monthly gains of 1,100 jobs per month from June to August, while the six-month trend shows a -100 per month average job loss from March to August.

"The Illinois economy is stuck in neutral with hardly any growth over the past several months," said IDES Director Jeff Mays.

"As a result, this has caused the state to experience a rising unemployment rate over the past three months," Mays added.

"Illinois is working tirelessly to highlight our strongest assets - our strategic location and dedicated workforce - to bring more opportunity, competition and good paying jobs to our state," said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. "We need to couple that with lasting reforms and incentives to attract businesses and quality jobs in Illinois."

In August, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were trade, transportation and utilities, education and health services and construction.

The largest payroll declines were in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services and manufacturing.

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 23,600 jobs with the largest gains in professional and business services, financial activities and education and health services.

Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include trade, transportation and utilities, government and construction.

The 0.4 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is about one-fourth as strong as the 1.4 percent gain posted by the nation in August.

Indiana reported a 4 percent rate. This was down from 4.6 percent last year but up from 3.4 percent a month before.

Nationally, the August jobless rate was 4.5 percent. This was down from 5.5 percent last August and 4.6 percent in July.

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