May was the 15th month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state compared to a year ago, according to preliminary data released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rates also fell in all of Illinois’s 102 counties. Not seasonally adjusted data compares May 2015 with May 2014.
In the Metro East, unemployment fell from 6.9 percent to 5.2 percent from May 2014 to May 2015.
Illinois businesses added jobs in seven metros. The largest increases were seen in: Kankakee (+2.5 percent, +1,100), Elgin Metro Division (+2.3 percent, +5,900) and Danville (+2.1 percent, +600). The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division was up +1.2 percent or +44,400. Decreases were seen in: Decatur (-1.6 percent, -800), Peoria (-1.4 percent, -2,500) and Carbondale-Marion (-1.3 percent, -700). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metros were Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (10 of 14), Retail Trade (eight of 14) and Educational and Health Services (eight of 14).
“Three metro areas in the northeast region of the state have reached prerecession employment levels, 11 metro areas continue to fall short,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “The need for a full statewide recovery remains.”
The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.6 percent in May 2015 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 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.