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Jobless Rate Increases in U.S.; Evanston See Slight Drop in Recent Months

The nation's unemployment rate is currently at 7.9 percent and has been relatively unchanged since September.

Unemployment rates in the United States increased slightly in January as economic growth remains slow.

Employees added 157,000 jobs last month throughout the United States. The nation's current jobless rate of 7.9 percent—which is up 0.1 percent from December—has remained relatively unchanged since September, according to United States Labor Department numbers recently released. 

Evanston's jobless numbers remain below the national average, the city's unemployment rates saw a slight decrease in recent months.

Evanston had a 6.5 percent jobless rate in December, down from 6.7 percent a year ago, according to Illinois Department of Employment Security numbers released in recent weeks. January numbers were not yet available.  

Nationwide retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade employees added jobs over the month, but employment numbers for transportation and warehousing employees decreased, according to the Labor Department report. 

There is currently 12.3 million U.S. residents who are unemployed and even with the addition of 181,000 new jobs in 2012, the economy has seen little growth, Reuters reported.

To see substantial gains more than 250,000 jobs would need to be added per month, economists told Reuters. 

Meanwhile, the number of long-term unemployed—which consists of those who have been without a job for more than 27 weeks —also remained relatively unchanged at 3.8 million in January and accounted for 38.1 percent of the total jobless rate, according U.S. Labor Department numbers

In Illinois, the jobless rate in December was 8.6 percent—up slightly from November when the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, according to Illinois Department of Employment Security numbers released in recent weeks. January numbers were not yet available.

Here is a look locally at December’s jobless rates:

County/Municipality

December 2012

November 2012

December 2011

Cook County

8.9

8.8

9.7

Skokie

6.9

7.2

7.1

Evanston

6.5

6.6

6.7

Wilmette

5.2

5.4

5.7

Glenview

5.5

5.8

6.0

Northbrook

6.1

6.1

6.1

Chicago

9.7

9.8

10.6

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