Rockford’s unemployment rate down to 11.6 percent, still highest in state
Online Staff Report
Rockford’s unemployment rate in June was 11.6 percent, down from 14.6 percent a year ago, according to a report released July 28 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The decline of 3 percentage points was the largest annual drop in a metropolitan area in the state in June.
Meantime, Rockford’s unemployment rate remains the highest of all 12 metropolitan areas, which ranked as follows, from highest to lowest:
1. Rockford, 11.6 percent
2. Kankakee-Bradley, 10.7 percent
3. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, 10.4 percent
4. (Two tied) Decatur and Danville, 9.8 percent
6. Lake-Kenosha, Ill.-Wis., 8.8 percent
7. Champaign-Urbana, 8.6 percent
8. St. Louis (Illinois section), 8.5 percent
9. Peoria, 7.9 percent
10. (Three tied) Bloomington-Normal, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island and Springfield, 7 percent.
The IDES report said all 12 metro areas in Illinois recorded their lowest June unemployment rate in three years. Additionally, the year-over-year unemployment rates dropped in every metropolitan area in Illinois for an unprecedented 10 consecutive months.
Jay Rowell, IDES director, said: “The lowest June unemployment rate in three years is a significant milestone and is evidence that the Illinois economy is improving and moving in the right direction. Despite the soft pause nationally, the data shows encouraging news across our state compared to last year.”
Over the year, total payroll jobs increased in seven metropolitan areas, decreased in four and were unchanged in one. The largest increases were in Kankakee-Bradley (plus 4.1 percent), Peoria (plus 2.8 percent) and the Quad Cities (plus 2.6 percent). Total unemployment also was up in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area (plus 0.6 percent). Leading sectors were Educational and Health Services (nine areas) and Construction and Manufacturing (eight areas).
Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year and is not designed to be compared to the previous month.
The June 2011 not seasonally adjusted state rate was 9.7 percent and 12.1 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the rate was 9.3 percent in June and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work. A person eligible for unemployment benefits will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they continue to look for work.
Since January 2010, Illinois has added 97,200 new jobs.
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