CHICAGO – June unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state for the third consecutive month and remain at six-year lows, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
Rates also fell in all 102 counties, the first time since February 2011. Not seasonally adjusted data compares June 2014 with June 2013.
Illinois businesses added jobs in six metros. Largest increases: Springfield (1.4 percent, +1,500), Champaign-Urbana (+1.1 percent, +1,100), Lake-Kenosha (+0.8 percent, +3,200) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+0.8 percent, +28,800). Largest decreases: Bloomington-Normal (-1.8 percent, -1,600), Decatur (-1.5 percent, -800) and Peoria (-1.4 percent, -2,500). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were Mining and Construction (seven of 12), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (seven of 12) and Leisure and Hospitality (seven of 12).
The Metro East saw 700 jobs lost, from 229,700 to 229,000. The unemployment rate decreased from 8.5 percent to 7 percent.
“Falling unemployment rates across our state compared with last year reflect the continued improvement in our economy. We can acknowledge the progress that we have made and still recognize that some of our neighbors still need our help,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Employers are hiring and more people are working today than one year ago. Blaming falling unemployment rates solely on discouraged workers ignores the reality of retiring baby boomers and shrinking labor force participation rate trends that began years before the recession even started.”
Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month with the same month of the previous year. The June 2014 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 7.1 percent and the national rate was 6.3 percent. 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 in times of economic expansion and contraction.