Rockford metro area’s unemployment rate at 11.2 percent in December, no longer highest in state

Online Staff Report

The unemployment rate for the Rockford metropolitan area was 11.2 percent in December, as the area lost 700 jobs between December 2011 and December 2012, according to data released Jan. 25 by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The Decatur metro area, at 11.8 percent, surpassed Rockford in December for the highest unemployment rate among the state’s 12 metro areas. That area has lost 1,900 jobs in the last year.

December local unemployment rates fell in nine of 12 metro areas in Illinois, increased in one, and were essentially unchanged in two compared to last year. Largest declines were in the Illinois portion of the St. Louis metro area (minus 1.5 points to 8.3 percent), Kankakee-Bradley (minus 1.2 points to 10.5 percent) and Rockford (minus 1.1 points to 11.2 percent).

Payrolls increased in six metros and declined in six. The largest increases were in Champaign-Urbana (plus 2.6 percent, plus 2,700 jobs), Kankakee-Bradley (plus 2.3 percent, plus 1,000 jobs) and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (plus 1 percent, plus 37,800 jobs). Industry sectors increasing in the most metro areas were Leisure and Hospitality (11 of 12) and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (eight of 12).

December marks another month that shows falling unemployment rates throughout our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The most pressing challenge to our economic progress is the uncertainty tied to Congress, the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff. Our economic recovery could be compromised if Congress is not seen as working together to build a solution.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compare the current month to the same month of the previous year. The December 2012 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 8.6 percent and 12.3 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in December 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.

Following are the unemployment rates in December per metropolitan area, listed from highest to lowest:

1. Decatur — 11.8 percent (10.1 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 1,900 jobs)

2. Rockford — 11.2 percent (12.3 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 700 jobs)

3. Kankakee-Bradley — 10.5 percent (11.7 percent in December 2011, an increase of 1,000 jobs)

4. Danville — 10.4 percent (10.3 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 1,100 jobs)

5. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville — 8.6 percent (9.3 percent in December 2011, an increase of 37,800 jobs)

6. Lake (Ill.)-Kenosha (Wis.) — 8.5 percent (9.2 percent in December 2011, an increase of 3,400 jobs)

7. (tie) Peoria — 8.3 percent (8.2 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 3,000 jobs)

St. Louis (Illinois section) — 8.3 percent (9.8 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 700 jobs)

9. Champaign-Urbana — 7.4 percent (8 percent in December 2011, an increase of 2,700 jobs)

10. Springfield — 7.2 percent (7.5 percent in December 2011, an increase of 400 jobs)

11. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island — 7.1 percent (7.8 percent in December 2011, a decrease of 1,100 jobs)

12. Bloomington-Normal — 6.3 percent (6.9 percent in December 2011, an increase of 800 jobs)

Posted Jan. 25, 2013

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