Unemployment Falls in All Metro Areas

Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in July in all of Illinois’ metropolitan areas, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also show nonfarm jobs increased in ten of the metropolitan areas.

“The number of employed people increased in all metro areas, which contributed to the decrease in the unemployment rate,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “This has driven the unemployment rate down to near record lows across the state. In fact, the Chicago metro area had its lowest July unemployment rate on record.”

Illinois businesses added jobs in 10 metro areas, with the largest increases in Kankakee (+5.9 percent, +2,700), Elgin (+2.0 percent, +5,100), and Champaign-Urbana (+1.5 percent, +1,600). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville- Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.2 percent or +46,500). Illinois businesses lost jobs in three metro areas: Carbondale-Marion (-0.7 percent, -400), Danville (-0.4 percent, -100), and Bloomington (-0.3 percent, -300).

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Leisure and Hospitality (12 of 14), Manufacturing (10 of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (10 of 14), Professional and Business Services (10 of 14), and Education and Health Services (8 of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares July 2018 with July 2017. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.3 percent in July 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 4.1 percent in July 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.

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