Unemployment Rate in Region Rising Again

By Benjamin Cox on August 27, 2023 at 4:52pm

The region’s unemployment rate is back on the rise after a relatively quiet summer.

Layoffs at Memorial Health and the closing of a couple of businesses have caused jobless rates to rise between .3-.5% the month of July, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s statistics.

Morgan County went up by a third of a percent from 4.3 to 4.6% last month. Cass County rose from 4.3 to 4.8%. Greene went from 4.5 to 5%. Scott County rose from 4.4 to 4.6%. Brown County’s rate went from 2.5 to 2.7%, despite having the lowest unemployment in West Central Illinois.

Despite these numbers locally, Deputy Governor Andy Manar says he is encouraged by the overall picture in the state: “We’re encouraged to see continued and consecutive job growth across the state, giving Illinois workers the ability to take advantage of expanded labor market opportunities. IDES continues to collaborate with its workforce partners, providing vital resources to bridge jobseekers with employers.”

Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to be a half point higher than the national average. Illinois’ unemployment is currently 4% while the nation sits at 3.5%. The Springfield metropolitan area as a whole saw a .8% increase in unemployment for the month of July. Despite the increase, Springfield had the 4th highest over-the-year job growth in the month of July, adding 2,100 job compared to the previous year.