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Unemployment rate leveling off in some counties

CHAMPAIGN -- The unemployment rate, on the rise for much of this year, finally seems to be leveling off in many – but not all – counties of East Central Illilnois.

Champaign, Vermilion and five other counties in East Central Illinois saw very little change in the unemployment rate in November.

But the rate has continued to march upward in Douglas, Edgar and Iroquois counties, all predominantly rural.

– In Douglas County, the unemployment rate rose from 9.3 percent in October to 9.6 percent in November, the highest figure so far this year. It was the seventh consecutive monthly increase.

– In Edgar County, the rate rose to 11.7 percent, up from 11.2 percent in October. The November figure was the highest for the county this year and the seventh monthly increase in a row.

– Iroquois County saw an 11 percent unemployment rate in November, up from 10.5 percent in October. That was a high for the year and the sixth consecutive monthly increase.

But most counties didn't see a great deal of change in November, according to figures released Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Here are the November rates for other area counties, with the change from October:

– Champaign, 8.6, up from 8.5.

– Coles, 9.7, up from 9.5.

– DeWitt, 9.7, up from 9.6.

– Ford, 9.9, unchanged.

– McLean, 7.6, down from 7.7.

– Piatt, 8, down from 8.1.

– Vermilion, 12.1, unchanged.

Moultrie County was the lone county to show a big drop in unemployment in November, with the rate plunging from 9.8 percent to 9 percent.

Very little change occurred among the city rates, with the rates for Champaign and Urbana both rising from 8.5 percent to 8.6 percent, while the rate for Danville slipped from 13.1 percent to 13 percent.

In Champaign County, an estimated 9,284 people were out of work and looking for a job. Meanwhile, 99,224 county residents were employed.

But Champaign County's total labor force – both the employed and unemployed – is 2,000 to 3,000 larger than it was last spring and 5,000 to 7,000 larger than during the summer.

In Vermilion County, the number of people out of work and looking for a job in November was 4,558. At the same time, 33,132 county residents were employed. The county's total labor force has remained about the same all year.

Of the state's 12 metropolitan areas, Champaign-Urbana had the third-lowest unemployment rate, behind Bloomington-Normal and Springfield. Danville had the fourth-highest unemployment rate, behind Rockford, Kankakee-Bradley and Decatur.

Of the 102 counties in the state, 11 had rates of 13 percent or higher, while six had rates lower than 8 percent.

The highest county rate was 15.5 percent in Winnebago, followed by 15 percent in Boone and 14.4 percent in Mason.

The lowest county rate was 4.6 percent in Brown, followed by 7.5 percent in Schuyler and 7.6 percent in both Cass and McLean.

By Don Dodson/ The News-Gazette

¨ Copyright 2011 CU-CitizenAccess.