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Jobless rate spikes in city of DeKalb, falls in county

Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 3:54 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 11:20 p.m. CDT

The unemployment rate in the city of DeKalb sharply increased in December compared with the same month the previous year, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The jobless rate spiked to 7.4 percent last month, up from 6.9 percent in December 2012, data shows. The increase comes as DeKalb County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.8 percent to 7.4 percent over the same time period.

“The [increase] was because of two things – the cold weather snap and holiday break for schools,” said Greg Rivara, spokesman for IDES. “So often, when we think of education we only think of teachers, and we forget about the support staff who is critical to operations. That staff often doesn’t work during specific times in December, which can sometimes push the unemployment rate up.”

Despite the city’s increase, the county is following a statewide trend of unemployment rates going down. Statewide, the rate was 8.6 percent last month compared with the national rate of 6.5 percent.

“They still are at unacceptably high numbers, but they are clearly moving downward,” Rivara said. “It has been this way for the last several years.”

Although the unemployment rate fell for the month, the state lost a net 3,200 jobs in December.

The Chicago metro area added 54,000 jobs in December and the jobless rate fell to 8.2 percent compared to 8.6 percent the previous year, according to the data, which is not seasonally adjusted. That is the lowest rating since December 2008.

The only other metro area where the unemployment rate fell besides Chicago was Rock Island, where the rate dropped from 7 percent to 6.8 percent.

The highest increase came in the Danville area, which increased 2.2 percent to 12.2 percent.

In Kane County, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in December compared to 9 percent in December 2012.

Historically, the state unemployment rate is higher than the national rate, according to IDES.

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