Illinois unemployment hits 7.8% in December

By James VandeBerg

Unemployment levels in Illinois have increased to 7.8% in December 2008, according to statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, marking an increase from November’s rate of 6.9%.

This is an increase from a rate of 5.3% in December 2007, and is the highest rate of unemployment the state has seen since 1993, when the rate peaked at over 8%. Almost 30,000 jobs were lost in the state during the month of December.

The highest unemployment rates were found in the Rockford area, with a rate of 12.5%. The Chicago-Naperville-Joliet metropolitan statistical area had an unemployment rate of 7%, while Champaign-Urbana’s was 6.1%.

Bloomington-Normal posted the lowest rate of any metropolitan area at 5.4%.