Mercer County’s unemployment rate at 8.4 percent. The latest number is for January and represents a 1.3 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Year over year levels are also up in Henderson, Henry, Knox, Rock Island and Warren Counties. The Manufacturing (+1,300), Professional-Business Services (+500), Educational-Health Services (+400), and Transportation-Warehousing-Utilities (+400) reported the largest payroll gains in the region. Government (-600) and Retail Trade (-500) sectors recorded the largest employment declines compared to one year ago. Statewide, the unemployment rate is 5.3 percent and Bob Gough with the Illinois Department of Employment Security says all but Chicago and the suburbs saw an increase in the jobless rate, but he says most areas saw job growth.
The national unemployment rate sits at 4.4 percent. The highest unemployment rate in the region is 8.6 percent in Fulton County.