Unemployment, and Unemployed, Both Drop

help wantedLocal unemployment rates ended 2014 on the decline, but that may not be completely positive news for the immediate area.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the December unemployment average for Knox County, just out today, is at a not-seasonally-adjusted 6.2%, down three-tenths from November’s figure.

It may seem positive, but there’s a downside. The statistics also snow that the number of people listed as being in the labor force also ended the year down — to just over 24,000, down about 350.  The total number of people listed as unemployed, however, is down about a hundred in that period, to almost 1,500.

In the City of Galesburg, the unemployment rate dropped five-tenths to 6.3%. The number of people in the labor force, as well as the number of people listed as unemployed, also went down.

Jobless averages in both the city and all of Knox County are both still significantly lower than the same period the year before.

The state says unemployment fell in every metropolitan area of the state year over year, but new IDES director Jeff Mays says job growth has lagged in some parts of the state, and the unemployment rates in some metro areas are higher than the state average.

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