Rockford’s unemployment rate drops to 12.8 percent, no longer highest in state

Staff Report

Rockford’s unemployment rate has dropped to 12.8 percent and is now the second-highest in the state behind the Kankakee-Bradley metropolitan area, which is at 12.9 percent.

According to data released March 29 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the Rockford metropolitan area gained 4,200 jobs between February 2011 and February 2012, up to 145,700 from 141,500.

Rockford’s unemployment rate was the highest in the state in February 2011 at 14.1 percent. Kankakee-Bradley’s was the second-highest at 13.7 percent.

Statewide, the local unemployment rate fell in nine of 12 metropolitan areas. Following are the February 2012 unemployment rates for all metropolitan areas, listed from highest to lowest, with the February 2011 unemployment rate in parentheses:

1. Kankakee-Bradley — 12.9 percent (13.7 percent)

2. Rockford — 12.8 percent (14.1 percent)

3. Danville — 11.1 percent (11.7 percent)

4. Decatur — 11 percent (11.7 percent)

5. St. Louis — 10.5 percent (10.2 percent)

6. Lake (Ill.)-Kenosha (Wis.) — 10.2 percent (10.8 percent)

7. Peoria — 9 percent (10 percent)

8. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville — 8.9 percent (9.6 percent)

9. Champaign-Urbana — 8.6 percent (8.8 percent)

10. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island — 8.5 percent (8.5 percent)

11. Springfield — 8.4 percent (8.5 percent)

12. Bloomington-Normal — 7.5 percent (7.7 percent)

From the April 4-10, 2012, issue