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Over the past few years the number of unemployed people in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin has been decreasing.

But in the greater Rockford area there were actually about 1,000 more people out of work in January compared to December. That tends to be the trend because a lot of holiday seasonal employees are laid off in January. The nearly 12,000 people that are unemployed in Winnebago and Boone counties have a wide variety of reasons they can't get a job.

"A lot of people are taking jobs that are out of their realm or are much lower paying jobs. A lot of jobs coming open are minimum wage or just above minimum wage. We work with a lot of people who had high paying jobs for a number of years," says Kris Swanson, an employee of Workforce Connection.

Wisconsin's jobless rate was down this year from last year. Currently in Janesville and Beloit about 5.5 percent of residents are unemployed. A year ago nearly 10 percent didn't have jobs.