Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in February in 13 of Illinois’s metropolitan areas and was unchanged in one, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in eleven of the metropolitan areas.
“It’s certainly a robust start to 2018 with declining unemployment rates in most areas,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “In fact, the February unemployment rate in thirteen of the metros is the lowest it has been since at least 2000.
Illinois businesses added jobs in eleven metro areas, with the largest increases in: Rockford (+5.3 percent, +7,500), Kankakee (+4.2 percent, +1,900), and Elgin (+2.5 percent, +6,300). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+0.5 percent or +18,700). Illinois businesses lost jobs in three metro areas: Springfield (-1.8 percent, -2,000), Carbondale-Marion (-1.6 percent, -900), and Danville (-1.1 percent, -300).
The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Manufacturing (11 of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (8 of 14), Professional and Business Services, (8 of 14), and Government (8 of 14).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares February 2018 with February 2017. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.0 percent in February 2018 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in February 2018 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.