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DECATUR — The Decatur metropolitan area’s unemployment rate went down by one-tenth of a percentage point over the past calendar year. The area also saw an increase of 700 non-farm jobs over the prior year.

The jobless rate as of July was at 5.6 percent, while the number of non-farm jobs was 51,600, according to the preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Decatur’s unemployment rate is the second-highest in the state, below Danville’s 5.9 percent.

'In the right direction': Decatur area added 500 new non-farm jobs in May

The 51,600 non-farm jobs in July is actually lower than the 52,300 nonfarm jobs reported in June of this year.

The Decatur area saw an increase in 500 manufacturing jobs in the past year, as well as an increase of 200 jobs in leisure & hospitality, construction and government. Retail trade saw a loss of 300 jobs, while wholesale trade was down 100 jobs.

The unemployed counted by the Department of Labor are those out of work but looking for employment. The number is not tied to unemployment benefits.

The report comes several days after a $1.5 million state grant was announced at Richland Community College. Officials hope the money could connect as many as 225 employees to vacant or new jobs in the Decatur area.

Unemployment rates fell in all 14 of Illinois’ metro areas, while 10 saw an increase in the number of non-farm jobs.

“The number of employed people increased in all metro areas, which contributed to the decrease in the unemployment rate,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “This has driven the unemployment rate down to near record lows across the state. In fact, the Chicago metro area had its lowest July unemployment rate on record.”

The unemployment rate for Illinois was 4.3 percent in July, down from 5.1 percent the previous year.


 

Decatur-area business openings and closings 

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Contact Ryan Voyles at (217) 421-7985. Follow him on Twitter: @RVVoyles

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Macon County Reporter

Macon County reporter for the Herald & Review.

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