Unemployment rates in Illinois dropped slightly from October 2012 to November, to 8.2 percent, and are a full percentage point compared to 2011, according to new figures released last week.
November local unemployment rates fell in 11 of 12 metro areas compared to last year, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Specific data was not released for La Grange, La Grange Park or Western Springs. However, unemployment in Cook County was down to 8.8 percent from 9.0 in October, and from 10.0 last November.
Nearby cities from which official data was released include Oak Park (6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent in Oct. and 7.2 percent in Nov. 2011), Downers Grove (6.6 percent, down from 6.9 percent in Oct. and 6.9 percent in Nov. 2011) and Elmhurst (6.3 percent, down from 6.6 percent in Oct. and 6.5 percent in Nov. 2011).
"The trend of falling unemployment rates across Illinois shows that our economy continues to improve," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "The largest challenge to local economic growth is the fiscal cliff. Economic progress could slow at every level and we risk another recession if Congress does not work together to craft a solution."
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which aims to increase taxes on the wealthy and also extends expiring jobless benefits.
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 dropped from 8.4 percent in October 2012 to 8.2 percent in November. Compared to October 2011, unemployment in Illinois has dropped 1 percent.
The U.S. average unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in November 2012.Nov. 2012 Oct. 2012 Nov. 2011 % Change Over Month % Change Over Year Downers Grove 6.6 6.9 6.9 -0.3 -0.3 Elmhurst 6.3 6.6 6.5 -0.3 -0.2 Oak Park 6.4 6.5 7.2 -0.1 -0.8 Wheaton 6.0 6.4 6.7 -0.4 -0.7 Cook County 8.8 9.0 10.0 -0.2 -1.2 Illinois 8.2 8.4 9.2 -0.2 -1.0 U.S. Average 7.4 7.5 8.2 -0.1 -0.8