Illinois reports job gains, lower unemployment

Illinois reports job gains, lower unemployment

Jobless rate fell in all 14 metro areas in August

Capitol News Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — Unemployment rates in all 14 metropolitan areas in Illinois dropped over the past 12 months as the state’s economy added more than 61,000 jobs, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday by state and federal labor agencies.

“Illinois has a bright future for residents and businesses, and we’re building an economy that works for everyone throughout the state,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a statement responding to the data.

Statewide, Illinois reported a seasonally-adjusted jobless rate of 4.0 percent in August, down from 4.2 the previous month as well as 4.2 percent in August 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The U.S. unemployment rate in August was 3.7 percent.

Taking out the seasonal adjustments, the unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent in August, down from 4.3 percent a year earlier, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said.

The Springfield metropolitan area reported the lowest unemployment rate, at a non-adjusted 3.5 percent, down nearly a full percentage point from a year ago.

The Bloomington, Chicago and Lake-Kenosha Counties metro areas each reported 3.6 percent unemployment, all down from the year before.

Rockford, at 5.5 percent, and Danville, at 5.2 percent, had the highest jobless rates of the 14 metropolitan areas. But Danville’s rate was down 1.3 points from a year ago, while Rockford’s was down a tenth of a point.

In terms of job gains, the Chicago metro area, which includes Naperville and Arlington Heights, led the state with 34,000 new jobs, raising its total to nearly 3.86 million. The Lake-Kenosha Counties area added 9,000 jobs, while the Elgin area added 3,600.

The Metro East area around East St. Louis added 2,700 jobs, the Champaign-Urbana area added 2,600, and the Carbondale-Marion area added 1,500.

Only two metropolitan areas in Illinois saw overall job losses over the year: Peoria and Kankakee, both of which lost about 500 jobs.

Peter Hancock

Peter HancockPeter Hancock

Peter was one of the founding reporters with Capitol News Illinois. A native of the Kansas City area, he has degrees in political science and education from the University of Kansas.

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