The Illinois Department of Employment Security released its December job statistics yesterday. In Morgan County, the over-the-year unemployment rate remained at 9.1 percent; in Greene County it dropped from 9.3 percent to 9 percent; in Cass County it was up from 7.9 percent to 8.2 percent; and in Scott County the unemployment rate climbed from 10.4 percent to 10.9 percent.
IDES spokesman Ron Payne says the jobless rate in the four-county area remained at 9 percent.
“A lot of it has to do with the direction of the national economy," says Payne. "It certainly affects things here in Central Illinois. Most of the unemployment rates in the area have been somewhat stable compared to last year."
Payne says the unemployment rates probably won’t change much for a few months.
“In January we sort of see a loss of some of the seasonal hires on the retail sector," says Payne. "Also, the construction numbers will probably go down as they usually do because of weather issues. I would think that until we get a good signal on the national level, as far as confidence in employers goes, it's really hard to say what the unemployment rate is going to be but I would think it should continue to be stable into the new year."
Payne says the four-county area lost 400 jobs in December 2012 compared to December 2011. Most of those were in state government in Jacksonville. There was a loss of 100 jobs in the manufacturing sector.
The state unemployment rate is 8.6 percent.
The national rate is 7.6 percent.