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Local News

Will County unemployment rate increases

County saw rate increase from October to November

JOLIET – The Will County unemployment rate increased in November from the previous month – but was down from the same month last year.

The unemployment rate went from 4.9 percent in October to 5.2 percent in November in Will County, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Last year in Will County, the unemployment rate for November was 6 percent.

The rate also increased in Joliet from 5.7 percent in October to 6.1 percent in November. Plainfield, the second-largest community in Will County by population, showed a slight increase in unemployment from 4.6 percent in October to 4.7 percent for November. 

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

In most metro areas statewide, the unemployment rate has increased, according to an IDES news release.

Job losses were seen in eight metro areas, including the Carbondale-Marion, Quad Cities and Lake-Kenosha areas.

Job growth was seen in four metro areas, including the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights area. The area includes Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kendall, Will and McHenry counties. 

Unemployment rates prior to November had been falling in the Chicago area and northeastern Illinois, said Ron Payne, IDES workforce analysis and dissemination manager. 

“That kind of goes along where most the job creation has been in the state,” Payne said Thursday. 

Unemployment rates were higher in downstate areas, including those heavy in manufacturing industries, he said.

Industries that saw job growth in the majority of metro areas were transportation, warehousing, public utilities, leisure and hospitality, education and health services.

IDES Director Jeff Mays said in a news release that while increased unemployment rates will garner the most headlines, what is more troubling is the “extremely low employment growth rate this past year.” 

Out of 102 counties in the state, 96 remain below their prerecession 2007 peak employment level. 

Out of all Chicago-area counties, Grundy showed the most increase in its unemployment rate from October to November, growing from 5.3 percent to 5.7 percent.

DuPage County had the lowest unemployment rate among those counties. 

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