Unemployment rates in Illinois were 9.5 percent in March, a slight decrease over February and slightly higher from the same time in 2012, according to new figures released in late April.
In Joliet, the unemployment rate dropped 1 percent in March to 13.3 percent in the city. That is down from 14.3 percent in February and up from 12.6 percent in March 2012.
In March, in Will County the rate fell to 10 percent from 10.9 percent in February. That figure is up year over year from 9.5 percent.
Specific numbers for Shorewood, Channahon and Minooka were not included, because IDES generally reports unemployment figures for municipalities with populations of 25,000 or more people. The numbers measure unemployment for residents who live in a certain town, not those who work in the town.
Statewide, the unemployment rate decreased from 10.5 percent in February to 9.5 percent in March. Compared with March 2012, unemployment has declined 0.3 percent.
During the month of March, local unemployment rates increased in seven of 12 metro areas, decreased in four, and were unchanged in one compared to last year, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
While unemployment remained mostly unchanged in Illinois, the state recorded 17,800 fewer jobs compared with February, even though it added 36,000 jobs over March 2012, according to officials with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
"Illinois employers were expected to report fewer positions in March. Economic uncertainty nationally and abroad dampened our country's job growth. When that happens, Illinois' share tends to be a negative number," said IDES Director Jay Rowell in a news release. "Monthly snapshots capture a moment in time. When those moments are evaluated together, we see progress away from a global recession and through a stubborn economic growth cycle marked by volatile swings in monthly data here and across our country."
Since January 2010 – following two years of monthly declines - Illinois has added 218,500 private sector jobs since, according to IDES. Among the leading job growth sectors are professional and business services (+89,300); education and health services (+57,800); and trade, transportation and utilities (+37,000). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -26,500.
The U.S. average unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in March 2013.
This post was reported by Mary Ann Lopez.