Wabash County had the second lowest southern Illinois unemployment rate in January according to figures released Thursday by the state’s department of employment security. The jobless rate stood at 4.3% in Wabash County, trailing only the 4.2% mark in White County for the lowest rate in the southern part of the state. The 4.3% rate was down slightly than the 4.4% rate in December and the 6.6% rate in January of last year.
Unemployment decreased in all 21 counties in the Southern Region compared to one year-ago as area employers continued to show demand in Retail Trade, Health Care and Social Assistance, Transportation and Warehousing, and Educational Services in January. Decreased hiring demand occurred in Public Administration and Accommodation-Food Services compared to January 2017.
Top occupations for hire included Truck Drivers, Registered Nurses, Retail Sales, Health Services Managers, Customer Service Representatives and Insurance Sales Agents.
While White County had the lowest January jobless rate, the highest in southern Illinois was Johnson County at 8%.
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.