CHICAGO (AP) - Unemployment fell in seven of Illinois' 12 metro areas in July. But some of the increases were sharp and driven by manufacturing declines.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that unemployment dropped in areas that included Champaign-Urbana, Springfield and the Metro East near St. Louis. The last of those three saw a steep drop, from 9.6 percent in July 2012 to 8.6 percent.
But some areas dependent on manufacturing experienced large increases. Unemployment jumped from 8 percent to 9.4 percent in Peoria, where Caterpillar Inc. has its headquarters. The company has cut employees as demand drops. Some of those layoffs have been in Decatur, where unemployment rose to 13.2 percent from 11.3 in 2012.
Illinois had the second-highest July unemployment rate in the country at 9.2 percent.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's unemployment rate edged up slightly even though businesses added thousands of jobs in June.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Tuesday that employer payrolls grew by 12,800 jobs in June, compared with the previous month.
Despite that growth, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also inched up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in June.
The largest job growth occurred in the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 5,400 jobs. An additional 4,700 jobs were added in retail and wholesale trade, and 2,000 jobs were added in durable goods manufacturing.
Unemployment is trending down in the St. Louis area.
The unemployment rate in the metro area sits at 7% in May--that is down from the level last year. The local unemployment rate is also lower than the national level of 7.3 percent.
The St. Louis workforce now sits just a bit above 1.3 million.
The jobless rates in Missouri and Illinois are moving in opposite directions.
Despite adding 4,600 jobs in May, Missouri's rate climbed to 6.8 percent from 6.6 percent in April. For the first time in several months, the government sector added jobs.
In Illinois, the unemployment rate fell in May to 9.1 percent. It was the second straight monthly drop after a series of increases earlier this year. State officials says that May's decrease was due in part to gains in construction employment.
Illinois' jobless rate still remains much higher than the 7.6 nationwide unemployment rate for May that was reported earlier this month.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Legislation awaiting action by Gov. Jay Nixon seeks to comply with federal mandates for Missouri's unemployment benefits system.
The measure also could make it more difficult for workers to receive jobless benefits if they are let go after an unapproved absence or if they knowingly violate a company rule.
The legislation would broaden the definition of what constitutes "misconduct." Jobless benefits can be denied to workers who lose their position because of misbehavior.
The unemployment legislation also includes changes aimed at complying with requirements from the federal government. Failing to comply could cost employers more than $800 million in federal tax credits while state government could lose a couple hundred million dollars for programs.
Lawmakers gave the legislation final approval before adjourning last week.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People fired for missing work and not following company rules could have a harder time claiming unemployment benefits under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The House voted 98-57 to pass the measure Wednesday. The Senate passed the same bill in February.
Fired workers who engaged in "misconduct" at the workplace can be denied benefits under current law. But the legislation expands the definition of "misconduct" to include chronic absenteeism and "knowing" violations of an employer's rules. The current standard requires "willful disregard" of an employer's regulations.
Supporters say many workers fired for reasons such as sleeping on the job are allowed to collect benefits under the current system. Opponents say the measure could deny benefits to people fired wrongly.