Metro employment numbers released

Staff Report

Unemployment is down in every metro area in the state for the fourteenth month in a row according to figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The Rockford region saw a drop to 5.8 percent unemployment in April, the lowest number seen since September 2007. However the area is down nearly 12,000 jobs from pre-recession levels.

Last month’s IDES numbers showed 154,2000 persons employed throughout the area compared to over 166,000 in late 2007.

Rockford did show the best improvement in unemployment percentage over the year, lowering its rate by 2.4 percent, the same as Decatur. Rock Island-Moline showed the lowest rate of change at just 0.7 percent.

“Metro areas in northern Illinois posted strong job gains, while most downstate areas lost ground,” said Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays in a release. “Yet even in areas that lost jobs, there are good jobs going unfilled. We can and must improve on how we connect the unemployed seeking work with employers seeking workers.”

Mays says even in areas that lost jobs, there are good jobs going unfilled. The adjusted unemployment rate for Illinois in April was 5.5 percent which is still above the national average of 5.1 percent.

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