Unemployment figures across the region increased in December compared to numbers from November and the year prior, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The monthly map of the state reflected an economy that continues to struggle as stricter COVID-19 regulations were implemented. Washington County reported the lowest unemployment rate in south central Illinois at 3.2 percent. The county’s figures were the second lowest in the state with Brown County reporting 2.6 percent.
Other county unemployment rates included 5.9 percent in Marion County, 3.7 percent for Clinton County, 5.8 percent for Jefferson County, 5.4 percent for Perry County and 6.1 percent for St. Clair County.
The state average for unemployment was 7.6 percent, above the US average of 6.7 percent.
The highest recorded unemployment rate for Washington County in 30 years occurred in April 2020, with 17.5 percent reporting being jobless.