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Unemployment Rates Jump. Again.

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Jan 9, 2009 8:30PM

2009_01_09_joblessrate.jpg Today the U.S. Department of Labor released a report showing that the national unemployment rate reached 7.2 percent in December, the highest since 1993. Illinois' unemployment was 7.3 percent in November, and the state has consistently held a higher unemployment rate than the nation's average. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will release a report on December's statistics on January 23. In December, IDES reported that unemployment rates were surging in all Illinois cities. They recorded unemployment in November 2008 at 6.3 percent for Chicagoland, compared with 4.6 percent in November 2007.

MSNBC reported that the number of hours worked are declining also, as employers cut back on workers' hours

The average work week in December fell to 33.3 hours, the lowest level on records dating to 1964--and a sign of more job reductions in the months ahead, economists said.

The Tribune also reported today that the number of people collecting unemployment benefits has reached 4.6 million people, the highest since 1982. And if you're thinking about giving up on the U.S. economy, don't bother heading for Canada. They aren't doing much better with a jobless rate of 6.6 percent, a three-year high for our neighbors to the north. It doesn't help that 80 percent of their trade is with the U.S.

If you're on the hunt for a job you could join the thousands of Chicagoland residents trying for a job with the 2010 U.S. Census.

The Census Bureau's goal was to test 170,000 applicants nationwide by the end of December, a spokeswoman said. It wound up with 276,000.

Places not to look for jobs: Walgreen's and Boeing. Walgreen's--whose headquarters are located in the north suburb of Deerfield--announced yesterday that they will be cutting 1,000 management jobs in 2009. And Boeing just announced today that they will be cutting 4,500 jobs in 2009. Although their headquarters are in Chicago, most of the jobs they will cut are in Washington State.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez