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home : local news : local news
January 18, 2019

1/4/2019 2:52:00 PM
County jobless rate increases slightly
Crawford County unemployment rates nudged slightly upward in November.

According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, 5 percent of the county's work force was unemployed and actively seeking new jobs during the month. This was up from 4.9 percent in both November 2017 and October.

Overall, the November jobless rates of area counties showed little change from the previous year or the previous month.

Clark County posted a 4.7-percent rate. This was slightly less than the November 2017 rate of 4.8 percent, but more than the 4.4-percent rate reported in October.

Lawrence County, at 5.9 percent, was up from 5.6 percent the previous year and 5.2 percent the previous month.

The Jasper County rate was 4.4 percent, unchanged from a year earlier, but down from 4.6 percent in October.

Across the Wabash River in Indiana, Vigo County's November jobless rate was 4.6 percent. This was up from 4.1 percent in 2017, but unchanged from October.

Sullivan County also reported a rate of 4.6 percent. This was up from 4.1 percent the previous year and 4.5 percent a month earlier.

Knox County's jobless rate was 3.5 percent, up from 3.4 percent in 2017, but down from 3.6 percent in October.

Unemployment rates increased over-the-year in November in 11 of Illinois' metropolitan areas, decreased in two, and was unchanged in one, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the IDES. Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in 12 of the metropolitan areas.

"Payrolls rose in most metro areas across the state" said IDES Director Jeff Mays.

"At the same time, the unemployment rate increased in most metros, mostly due to more people entering or reentering the labor force as many of the local economies continue to improve," he added.

Illinois businesses added jobs in 12 metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in Kankakee, Lake-Kenosha and Elgin.

Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased .9 percent. Illinois businesses lost jobs in Carbondale-Marion and Springfield.

The industry sectors recording job growth in most metro areas included manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, mining and construction and leisure and hospitality.

The Illinois unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in November. This was down from 4.9 percent in November 2017 and 4.2 percent in October. It was also down from the 12.2-percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

The Indiana statewide November jobless rate was 3.7 percent, up from 3.4 percent a year earlier and 3.6 percent a month earlier.

Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in November and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.

Nationwide, U.S. businesses added a robust 271,000 jobs in December, according to a private survey.

Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that last month's job gains marked a sharp upturn from November's gain of 157,000. The gains, if backed up by government numbers due Friday, could be strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

The burst of hiring last month comes as financial markets are dreading a broader economic slowdown, causing stock prices to collapse. But job growth at December's pace suggest that the U.S. economy is unlikely to fall into a recession, said Mark Zandi, who prepares the ADP report as chief economist at Moody's Analystics

"The job market is key for keeping the economy together and ensuring that the economic expansion goes forward," Zandi said.

The report Thursday arrives a day before the government releases its official jobs numbers. Economists forecast that they will show employers added 180,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate will remain at a five-decade low of 3.7 percent, according to data provider FactSet.

The ADP covers only private businesses and often diverges from official figures, which also include government hiring.

Zandi cautioned that an unseasonably warm December might have caused job growth to appear stronger than it actually was, but he noted that the figures were still remarkably healthy given that the economy is in the middle of its 10th year of expansion.

ADP reported a solid 37,000 increase in construction jobs. But the services sector was particularly strong with gains of 66,000 in the professional and business sector, 61,000 in education and health care and 39,000 in leisure and hospitality.

If hiring continues at this pace, the Federal Reserve could face pressure to increase a key, short-term rate that influences the flow of money in the economy, Zandi said. Investors are currently anticipating no rate hikes this year after four increases in 2018.

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