Morgan County, Area Unemployment Rate Slowly Descends From Record Highs

By Benjamin Cox on August 31, 2020 at 10:53am

Local unemployment rates were released on Thursday for the month of July. After hitting record unemployment levels in the month of June for the state, Morgan County’s unemployment rate dropped 1.1% in the month of July as the service industry reopened during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan after COVID-19 shutdowns.

IDES Spokesperson Sam Salustro says it has been a tough year all the way around the state for people being out of work: “We see unemployment rates well above what they were last year. However, looking at our statewide figures, we are still seeing a reduction in the unemployment rate month to month and job growth month to month. We are reopening our economy safely and carefully. As we are seeing businesses reopen, the unemployment rate in Illinois has been dropping significantly and we are growing a lot of jobs at the same time. There is good news in that the long term trends of reopening our economy is that people are going back to work.”

Morgan County’s July unemployment rate sat at 8.3% in the month of July, down from 9.4% in June and above 10% in May. Compared to other counties in the region, Morgan County’s unemployment rate is the highest in the region. Cass currently sits at 7.2% with Greene following with the second highest rate in West Central Illinois at 7.7%.

Schuyler, Brown, Scott, and Pike are all well below 7%, with Brown having the absolute lowest rate in the region at 4.9%. The Springfield metro area also saw a loss year-over-year of 7,000 jobs compared to 2019.

Illinois’ overall unemployment rate in July sat at 11.3% well north of the U.S. as a whole at 10.5%. The nation’s number is the highest it’s been since 1948.