CHICAGO – April unemployment rates fell in all Illinois metropolitan areas to their lowest level in six years, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
In the Metro East, the unemployment rate fell from 7.6 percent last April to 6.3 percent. The total number of non-farm jobs fell from 231,600 to 231,100 from April 2013 to April 2014.
In the rest of the state, four areas — Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island and Springfield — recorded lower rates than the rest of the country.
Illinois businesses added jobs in five metros. The largest increases: Lake-Kenosha (+2.6 percent, +10,200), Springfield (1.8 percent, +2,000), Champaign-Urbana (+1.2 percent, +1,300) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.7 percent, +26,700). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-2.9 percent, -2,600), Peoria (-1.7 percent, -3,000) and Danville (-1.4 percent, -400). The one industry sector recording job growth in the majority of metros was Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 12).
“Across our state, the unemployment rate today is lower than it was one year ago and at its lowest level since 2008. That is good news by any definition,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Independent data again shows that our economy continues to move forward. The trend of more people working and fewer people on unemployment bodes well for continued improvement in local economies across Illinois.”
Not seasonally adjusted data compare the current month with the same month of the previous year. The April 2014 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 7.2 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in April 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.