IDES says Rockford job market improving, state still hurting

It’s a mixed bag across the state for updated employment data. The Illinois Department of Employment Security says there were job gains in eight metro areas but job losses in six others.

The largest unemployment decline over the month was in Rockford and Kankakee. The largest unemployment increases over the month were in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights and Elgin metro areas.

Year to date the largest jobs gains were made in Bloomington and Davenport-Moline-Rock Island. The biggest losses were in Kankakee and Decatur.

One industry that keeps getting hit with losses, according to IDES Analyst Tom Austin, is manufacturing.

“While some areas are experiencing increases in the manufacturing sector, there are sectors within the manufacturing area, especially when we look at those related to farming and construction, that have been experiencing declines as we look over the year,” Austin said.

Year-to-date Illinois manufacturing has lost 10,000 jobs.

Austin said a global slowdown in the farm implement industry is impacting manufacturing jobs and other sectors.

“It also has affected our professional business services which feeds employees into that, as well as other industries that have become dependent on employment in that sector, such as retail trade and hospitality,” Austin said.

Illinois has the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest and at 6.2 percent is higher than the national average of 4.5 percent. Only two other states in the country, Nevada and Alaska, have higher unemployment rates.

–Illinois News Network

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