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Illinois Metro Unemployment Rates Drop; Job Growth Stalls

For Immediate Release | Contact: Anjali Julka, 312-793-9635, anjali.julka@illinois.gov

 
4/23/15 - March was the thirteenth month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state compared to a year ago, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Rates also fell in all 102 counties for the twelfth consecutive month and the thirteenth time out of the past fifteen months. Not seasonally adjusted data compares March 2015 with March 2014.
 
Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metros. The largest increases were seen in: Kankakee (+2.3 percent, +1,000), Rockford (+2.1 percent, +3,100) and Danville (+2.1 percent, +600). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division rose (+1.5 percent, +52,100). Decreases were seen in: Decatur (-1.6 percent, -800), Carbondale-Marion (-1.5 percent, -800) and Bloomington (-0.6 percent, -600). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were Retail Trade (9 of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (9 of 14), Education and Health Services (8 of 14) and Leisure and Hospitality (8 of 14).
 
“It appears that the decline in the number of unemployed people has translated directly to the decline in the overall labor force both locally and statewide.” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “This is very troubling and merits more study.”
 
The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 6.3 percent in March 2015 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 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.