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Iroquois County's jobless rate drops

Iroquois County’s unemployment rate last month remained steady, dropping a bit, to 8.2%. It’s down from 8.6 in July of 2011.

The Ford County rate is at 9.7….up from last year’s 9.1  Livingston County is listed at 8.5…also down from the 2011 level of 9.2 %.   IDES spokesman Greg Rivara said the fluctuations are part of a stable recovery.

“The economy is improving; overall we’re doing better than we were a year ago and two years ago,” Rivara said. “When looking at the monthly data, we’re seeing numbers that are moving up or moving down ever so slightly. But when we step back and look at the trend, we see that trend line moving downward.”

Over the year, McLean County had an increase of 300 jobs in non-farm positions, ending the month with 88,500 jobs, compared to 88,200 in July 2011. Leisure and hospitality and government saw the biggest gains with 600 and 400 new jobs, respectively. Declines took place in retail trade, where 500 jobs were lost.

Across the state, the July unemployment rate fell in five metro areas, increased in four and remained unchanged in three, compared to last year.

“Today’s data reflects the nature of this uneven recovery with several, but not all, areas of our state showing an improved employment situation,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell in a prepared statement. “Stronger consumer confidence nationally is needed for the employment situation to consistently improve in all corners of our state.”

Other Central Illinois counties and their July (July 2011) rates include: DeWitt, 8.2 percent (8.5 percent); Ford, 9.7 percent (9.1 percent); Iroquois, 8.2 percent (8.6 percent); LaSalle, 11.5 percent (11.5 percent); Livingston, 8.5 percent (9.2 percent.

94.1 FM, WGFA