CHICAGO — Unemployment rates increased in all of the metro areas compared to last year, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
In Madison County, the unemployment rate increased from 6.3 percent to 7.2 percent. Unemployment in Alton went down, from 8.6 percent to 8.3 percent, while the rate went up in Granite City from 7.1 to 9.6 and in Edwardsville from 4.6 to 5.5. Statewide, the rate increased from 6.5 to 7 percent.
The increase in the unemployment rate in most metropolitan areas is partially due to more people looking for work.
“Illinois’ overall job growth rate remains among the slowest in the country and metro area unemployment rates continue to rise, even with an increase in jobs in February,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “Structural reforms will provide the resources we need to more effectively build a stronger workforce and help communities toward achieving economic stability.”
Illinois businesses added jobs in eight metros, in which the largest increases were seen in: Lake-Kenosha (+2.3 percent, +8,800), Rockford (+2.1 percent, +3,100) and Champaign (+1.9, +2,000). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division increased (+1.7 percent or +62,100). Illinois businesses lost jobs in six metro areas including Bloomington (-1.9 percent, -1,800), the Quad Cities (-1.2 percent, -2,100), and Carbondale-Marion (-0.9 percent, -500). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were: Retail (11 of 14), Education and Health Services (11 of 14), Government (10 of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (nine of 14), Professional and Business Services (eight of 14), and Other Services (eight of 14).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares February 2016 with February 2015. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 7 percent in February 2016 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in February 2016 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.