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The area jobless rate took a hefty drop in Piatt County in December when compared to the year before, according to figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Unemployment in the county dropped last month to 7.4 percent, below the 8.5 percent recorded in December of 2011. Champaign-Urbana saw a .6 percent drop to 7.4 percent, but Decatur recorded a 1.7 percent increase, and now stands at an area-high 11.8 percent, due mostly to temporary manufacturing layoffs.
Statewide, the jobless rate decreased a full percentage point year-over-year to 8.7 percent last month, and was unchanged from the month before.
“December marks another month that shows falling unemployment rates throughout our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “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.”
The Illinois rate is still above the national rate in December of 7.6 percent.
Piatt County’s rate of 7.4 percent was one of the lowest in Central Illinois, equalling that of Champaign-Urbana and just above a rate of 7.0 percent in Menard County, 7.1 percent in Moultrie County and 7.3 percent in Douglas County.
Total number of jobs
Champaign-Urbana added 2,700 non-farm jobs for the year, increasing the workforce to 106,000. In Decatur, however, 1,900 jobs were lost for a total force of 51,300. Statewide, the workforce of 5.7 million was 7,600 less than a month earlier, but up 41,900 from December of 2011.