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October jobs numbers best in area since 2008

CHICAGO – The employment picture locally in October was better than it has been in 4 years.

Local unemployment rates were more than 1 percentage point lower in October than they were a year ago, according to data released Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

However, all five local counties saw their rates either jump slightly or remain unchanged from September to October.

Ogle County saw the largest year-to-year drop. Its jobless rate in October was 9.9 percent, down from 11.7 percent in October 2011. Whiteside, Lee, Carroll and Bureau counties each saw their jobless rates drop by 1.3 percentage points from Oct. 2011 to October 2012.

Statewide, jobless rates dropped by 1.2 percentage points – from 9.6 percent to 8.4 percent from October 2011 to last month.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.5 percent to 7.5 percent from year to year in October, the IDES said.

In all local counties, the rates were the lowest in October since 2008. That trend was seen statewide.

“Falling unemployment rates across our state and the lowest October rates since 2008 show that our steady economic progress continues,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We now look to Congress to address the fiscal cliff. If not resolved, our future economic progress will be in jeopardy.”

While the national jobless rate dropped from September to October from 7.6 to 7.5 percent, it increased slightly in Illinois – from 8.1 percent to 8.4 percent.

Rates jumped a by 0.2 percentage points in Whiteside, Ogle and Carroll counties, as well, from month to month. But they remained unchanged in Lee and Bureau counties.

Local numbers

How October's unemployment rates compared to those a month ago and last year:

County Oct. 2012 Oct. 2011 Sept. 2011

Bureau 8.6% 9.9% 8.6%

Carroll 8.0% 9.3% 7.8%

Lee 8.3% 9.6% 8.3%

Ogle 9.9% 11.7% 9.7%

Whiteside 8.9% 10.2% 8.7%

Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security

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