Business
1:17 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Rockford posts biggest unemployment decline

Unemployment in the Rockford metro area dropped from 13.4 percent in March 2011 to 11.7 percent in March 2012 -- the largest decline in any Illinois metropolitan area – according to a government report released Thursday. Statewide unemployment dropped to 9.0 percent.

Unemployment in the city of Rockford also dropped 1.7 points, but it stands at 12.8 percent this year compared to 14.5 percent in March 2011.

The Rockford metro unemployment rate is the highest in the state. The lowest rate is in the Bloomington-Normal metro area at 6.7%. The DeKalb County rate fell 0.6 point to 8.4%

The March local unemployment rate fell in every metro area compared to last year, according to preliminary data released today (Thursday).

This was the first month since May 2011 in which the rate fell in every metro area. The largest declines were in:

  • Rockford (-1.7 point to 11.7 percent),
  • Kankakee-Bradley (-1.5 point to 11.6 percent)
  • Peoria (-1.5 point to 7.8 percent)
  • Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (-0.4 point to 9.0 percent)

The March 2012 statewide unemployment rate, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, was 9.0 percent, down from 12.3 percent at its peak in January 2010. Nationally, the rate was 8.4 percent in March and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. No seasonal adjustment was included in the data.

Payrolls increased in six metros, fell in five and were unchanged in one. The largest increases were:

  • Kankakee-Bradley (+2.9 percent, +1,200)
  • Peoria (+2.9 percent, +5,100)
  • Rockford (+2.2 percent, +3,200)
  • Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+1.2 percent, +42,300 jobs).

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work. Illinois has added 142,100 jobs (seasonally adjusted) since January 2010, when job growth resumed after nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines.

Other results comparing March 2012 to March 2011 for the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area:

Cities                                      2012       2011
Rockford                                12.8 %      14.5 %
Freeport                                 10.4 %      11.3 %
Belvidere                                15.3 %      17.7 %

Counties                              2012       2011
Boone County                       13.0 %     15.4 %
Bureau County                       9.8 %      11.2 %
Carroll County                        9.5 %      10.5 %
DeKalb County                       8.4 %        9.0 %
Henry County                         7.9 %        8.5 %
JoDaviess County                    8.3 %       9.0 %
Kane County                           9.8 %      10.2 %
Lee County                              9.3 %      10.4 %
McHenry County                   9.1 %         9.7 %
Ogle County                           11.3 %      12.7 %
Stephenson County                 9.8 %      11.0 %
Whiteside County                   9.4 %        9.9 %
Winnebago County                11.4 %      13.1 %