News and Announcements - Article

Unemployment Falls Across State

​For Immediate Release | Greg Rivara, Media contact: (312) 793-9635 (pdf version)​

CHICAGO – Local unemployment fell in 10 of 12 metropolitan areas in March. In six of the 10, the March rate was at its lowest point since 2008, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The six metros are Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Kankakee-Bradley, Lake-Kenosha, Rockford and St. Louis. Illinois businesses added jobs in five metros. Largest increases: Lake-Kenosha (+1.9 percent, +7,400), Champaign-Urbana (+1.8 percent, +1,900), Kankakee-Bradley (0.9 percent, +400) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.6 percent, +24,000). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-2.0 percent, -1,800), Decatur (-1.6 percent, -800) and Danville (-1.4 percent, -400). Much of these decreases continue to reflect a temporary slowdown in global manufacturing demand. Industry sectors recording job growth in the most metros: Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 12), Wholesale Trade (seven of 12).

“Our economy continues to improve as people feel more confident about the future,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “To continue this growth, we need to ensure that our workforce has the skills demanded in today’s economy.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The March 2014 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 8.3 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in March and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Historically, the state unemployment rate is higher than the national rate.