Winnebago and Boone Counties unemployment rates are the third and fourth highest in Illinois

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While Roscoe businesses are hiring, Winnebago County still has one of the highest unemployment rates in Illinois.

Though unemployment in Winnebago and Boone counties continues to drop, the two Stateline counties continue to have some of the highest unemployment rates in Illinois. Of a total labor force of 136,156 in Winnebago County, almost 9,000 remain unemployed, compared to 150 in Alexander County and 131 in Pulaski County, the only two counties with a higher unemployment rate. Specifically,  Winnebago County has an unemployment rate of 6.6%, Alexander County  has 8.1%, and Pulaski County has 7.7%. But employment in Winnebago County has improved 1.7% in the past month and 2.6% in the past year. 

The rate in both Stateline counties is higher than the state average and almost twice the national average. June 2022's unemployment rate in Illinois was 4.5%. Boone County has about the same unemployment rate (6.5%) as Winnebago County, with similar recent improvements. Of Boone County's total labor force of 25,446, about 1,664 are unemployed.



Nationwide unemployment rates, while significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, remain a subject of concern, notably as economic experts bandy around the idea of a potential recession by 2023. The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2008-2010—sent rates up to 10% as of October 2009. It was not until the spring of 2019 that unemployment finally went down to the same level it sits at now.

As of June of this year, national unemployment is at 3.5%, 0.1% lower than in May, marking a three-month stagnation—following a steady drop since that aforementioned COVID-affected peak. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.8% in Minnesota, to 4.9% in New Mexico and 5.5% in the District of Columbia. Further breakdown by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows yet another county-based spectrum within each state. 

To that end, using data from the BLSStacker compiled a list of the 50 counties with the highest unemployment rate in Illinois. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in June 2022, which as of this writing is the most current Bureau data. The good news is that all the counties not on the list are doing better than the state average, and some are even doing better than the national average. But our county isn't. 

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#50. Rock Island County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 69,900 (2,921 unemployed)

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#49. Ford County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -0.8%
-Total Labor Force: 6,054 (254 unemployed)

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#48. Cass County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.1%
-Total Labor Force: 5,654 (238 unemployed)

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#47. Logan County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 11,662 (492 unemployed)

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#46. Crawford County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.4%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 8,610 (364 unemployed)

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#45. Putnam County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.9%
--- 1 year change: -0.6%
-Total Labor Force: 2,997 (127 unemployed)

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#44. Sangamon County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 100,051 (4,268 unemployed)

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#43. Champaign County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 105,104 (4,498 unemployed)

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#42. Grundy County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: +0.6%
--- 1 year change: -2.4%
-Total Labor Force: 26,178 (1,127 unemployed)

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#41. Edwards County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 2,544 (110 unemployed)

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#40. Stark County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 2,398 (104 unemployed)

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#39. DeKalb County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 54,511 (2,366 unemployed)

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#38. Stephenson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 20,891 (916 unemployed)

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#37. Montgomery County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 11,439 (502 unemployed)

Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Will County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.4%
--- 1 month change: +0.7%
--- 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 368,919 (16,378 unemployed)

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#35. Williamson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 30,691 (1,374 unemployed)

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#34. Marshall County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.8%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 5,165 (233 unemployed)

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#33. Kane County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 267,314 (12,135 unemployed)

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#32. Clay County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
--- 1 month change: -0.3%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 5,810 (266 unemployed)

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#31. Ogle County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
--- 1 month change: -0.9%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 24,028 (1,102 unemployed)

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#30. Jackson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
--- 1 month change: -0.4%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 26,874 (1,233 unemployed)

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#29. Christian County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
--- 1 month change: -1.3%
--- 1 year change: -1.3%
-Total Labor Force: 13,491 (626 unemployed)

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#28. LaSalle County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 52,947 (2,495 unemployed)

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#27. Union County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.3%
-Total Labor Force: 7,276 (345 unemployed)

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#26. Mason County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.3%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 5,881 (279 unemployed)

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#25. Coles County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.2%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 21,542 (1,044 unemployed)

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#24. Marion County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.9%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.8%
-Total Labor Force: 16,670 (812 unemployed)

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#23. St. Clair County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.9%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 125,251 (6,120 unemployed)

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#22. Fulton County

- Current Unemployment rate: 4.9%
--- 1 month change: -0.3%
--- 1 year change: -1.2%
-Total Labor Force: 14,431 (711 unemployed)

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#21. McDonough County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.1%
--- 1 month change: +0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.3%
-Total Labor Force: 11,815 (599 unemployed)

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#20. Jefferson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -2.1%
-Total Labor Force: 16,326 (831 unemployed)

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#19. Perry County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.1%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.9%
-Total Labor Force: 7,935 (407 unemployed)

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#18. Lawrence County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.2%
--- 1 month change: -0.7%
--- 1 year change: -1.1%
-Total Labor Force: 5,613 (294 unemployed)

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#17. Kankakee County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.9%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 53,057 (2,826 unemployed)

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#16. Knox County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.3%
--- 1 month change: -0.8%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 20,404 (1,091 unemployed)

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#15. Cook County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.4%
--- 1 month change: +0.8%
--- 1 year change: -3.4%
-Total Labor Force: 2,683,171 (144,793 unemployed)

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#14. Gallatin County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 1,986 (108 unemployed)

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#13. Vermilion County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.5%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 31,538 (1,724 unemployed)

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#12. Pope County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.5%
--- 1 month change: +0.7%
--- 1 year change: -0.3%
-Total Labor Force: 1,726 (95 unemployed)

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#11. Massac County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.3%
-Total Labor Force: 5,391 (298 unemployed)

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#10. Johnson County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.6%
--- 1 month change: -0.4%
--- 1 year change: -0.9%
-Total Labor Force: 4,113 (230 unemployed)

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#9. Peoria County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.9%
--- 1 year change: -2.1%
-Total Labor Force: 83,808 (4,812 unemployed)

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#8. Saline County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.4%
--- 1 year change: -1.6%
-Total Labor Force: 9,124 (525 unemployed)

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#7. Franklin County

- Current Unemployment rate: 5.8%
--- 1 month change: -0.4%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 15,615 (900 unemployed)

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#6. Hardin County

- Current Unemployment rate: 6.4%
--- 1 month change: -0.1%
--- 1 year change: -1.5%
-Total Labor Force: 1,334 (86 unemployed)

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#5. Macon County

- Current Unemployment rate: 6.5%
--- 1 month change: -0.6%
--- 1 year change: -1.7%
-Total Labor Force: 47,067 (3,040 unemployed)

Teemu008 from Palatine, Illinois // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Boone County

- Current Unemployment rate: 6.5%
--- 1 month change: -1.9%
--- 1 year change: -2.9%
-Total Labor Force: 25,446 (1,664 unemployed)

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#3. Winnebago County

- Current Unemployment rate: 6.6%
--- 1 month change: -1.7%
--- 1 year change: -2.6%
-Total Labor Force: 136,156 (8,984 unemployed)

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#2. Pulaski County

- Current Unemployment rate: 7.7%
--- 1 month change: -0.9%
--- 1 year change: -2.4%
-Total Labor Force: 1,706 (131 unemployed)

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#1. Alexander County

- Current Unemployment rate: 8.1%
--- 1 month change: 0.0%
--- 1 year change: -1.4%
-Total Labor Force: 1,856 (150 unemployed)

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