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County jobless rate hits 8.2 percent

CRYSTAL LAKE – The county's unemployment rate continued to fall in December.

McHenry County's unemployment rate dropped to 8.2 percent in December, down from 9 percent a year ago, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The jobless rate in Crystal Lake was 8 percent compared with 8.3 percent in 2011, said IDES spokesman Greg Rivara.

Other jobless numbers showed Algonquin at 7.6 percent, down from 7.9 percent a year ago; McHenry, 8.3 percent, down from 9.4 percent; and Lake in the Hills, 7.9 percent, down from 8.7 percent.

Carpentersville’s jobless rate fell to 12.8 percent compared with 14.3 percent a year ago.

In Kane County, the jobless rate improved from 9.8 percent in December 2011 to 9 percent in December 2012.

December local unemployment rates fell in nine of 12 metro areas in the state, increased in one, and were essentially unchanged in two compared to last year.

Not seasonally adjusted data compares December 2012 to December 2011. The largest declines were in: the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metro area (-1.5 points to 8.3 percent), Kankakee-Bradley (␞1.2 points to 10.5 percent), and Rockford (-1.1 points to 11.2 percent).

Payrolls increased in six metros and declined in six. The largest increases: Champaign-Urbana (+2.6 percent, +2,700), Kankakee-Bradley (+2.3 percent, +1,000), and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+1.0 percent, +37,800 jobs).

Industry sectors increasing in the most metro areas were Leisure and Hospitality (11 of 12) and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (eight of 12).

“December marks another month that shows falling unemployment rates throughout our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a press release. “The most pressing challenge to our economic progress is the uncertainty tied to Congress, the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff. Our economic recovery could be compromised if Congress is not seen as working together to build a solution.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The December 2012 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 8.6 percent and 12.3 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work, and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits.

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