West Central IL Unemployment Nearly Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

By Benjamin Cox on November 25, 2020 at 6:26pm

Local unemployment numbers are at pre-pandemic levels compared to year-over-year statistics. In data released by the Illinois Department of Security, statewide unemployment numbers are looking somewhat grim as the overall rate increased while non-farm jobs decreased across all industry sectors.

The statewide unemployment rate currently sits at 6.5% for the non-seasonally adjusted rate. It’s nearly 3 points higher than last year’s 3.6% and two points higher than two years ago at 4.1%.

Morgan County’s rate for October is at 4%. It’s slightly higher than last year’s 3.7% rate. Most other West Central Illinois counties were also slightly above their 2019 rate, too. Scott County, in fact saw a decrease in the rate from last year, with the 2019 rate at 3.9% and the current rate now sitting at 3.2%. Brown County with the lowest unemployment in the region was at a 2.1% this year compared to last year’s 2.4%.

The number of non-farm jobs decreased in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas. These rates might likely increase next month after new Tier 3 mitigations went into effect last Friday, forcing many in the service and tourism industry to once again be furloughed by closures. December also brings about the end of federal CARES Act unemployment benefits, which also could cause a significant jump in unemployment rates because many will then again be forced to look for work who are currently not.