CHICAGO – May unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state for the second consecutive month and are at six-year lows, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. Rates also fell in 99 of 102 counties.
In the Metro East, the unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in May 2013 to 6.6 percent in May 2014. The number of non-farm jobs decreased by 700, from 233,300 to 232,600.
Illinois businesses added jobs in six metros. Largest increases: Lake-Kenosha (+2.0 percent, +7,800), Springfield (1.4 percent, +1,500), Kankakee-Bradley (+1.2 percent, +500) and Champaign-Urbana (+0.9 percent, +1,000). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-3.0 percent, ‑2,700), Peoria (-1.8 percent, -3,300) and Decatur (-1.3 percent, -700). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 12), Mining and Construction (eight of 12), Education and Health Services (eight of 12) and Professional and Business Services (seven of 12).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month with the same month of the previous year. The May 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 6.1 percent in May 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.