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Unemployment up in most metro areas in state

January local unemployment rates increased in seven of 12 metro areas, decreased in three, and were unchanged in two compared to last year, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Not seasonally adjusted data compares January 2013 to January 2012. Largest increases were in: Decatur MSA (up 2.9 points to 14 percent), the Danville MSA (up 0.9 point to 11.8 percent), and the Peoria MSA (up 0.9 point to 10 percent). The Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division rate was up 0.4 point to 9.9 percent.

Jobs were added in six metro areas, declined in four and were unchanged in two. The largest increases were in: Champaign-Urbana (+2.6 percent, +2,600), Rockford (+2 percent, +2,800) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+1.6 percent, +56,700).

Industry sectors increasing in the most metro areas were educational and health services (10 of 12); financial activities (eight of 12); transportation, warehousing and utilities (seven of 12); and leisure and hospitality (seven of 12).

“Increases in the unemployment rate and newly created jobs are expected each January. The new year encourages employers to hire and workers to re-energize their work search,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “We now need to better understand how the federal budget reductions through sequestration will pressure the economy, especially consumer confidence and hiring efforts.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The January 2013 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 10.1 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in January 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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