Area jobless rate falls, Rockford still tops state in unemployment
By Jim Hagerty
The percentage of those without jobs in the metropolitan Rockford area was down in November, according to stats released Thursday, Dec. 23.
According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the jobless rate in the Rockford area, which includes Winnebago and Boone counties, fell from 14.5 percent in October to 13.7 percent last month.
The decline is just shy of a 2-percentage-point fall from the November 2009 mark of 15.5 percent.
The local decline follows a three-month statewide improvement IDES officials said is the best they’ve seen in four years.
“Falling unemployment rates in local areas throughout our state for the first time in four years is further evidence that the Illinois economy is on the right path,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said.
Although Rockford charted the largest year-to-date decline, the area still has the highest unemployment rate in the state, followed by Kankakee-Bradley (12.1 percent), Danville (11 percent) and Chicago (8.9).
Chicago’s unemployment rate stood at 10.3 percent a year ago.
The state’s lowest jobless rate, 7.1 percent, is in Bloomington-Normal, O’Donnell said.
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