The Rockford metro area unemployment rate fell nearly one percentage point in May to 10.4 percent and payroll employment grew by 3,400 jobs or 2.3 percent, according to preliminary data released today.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Department of Labor said unemployment fell in eight metro areas, increased in two and essentially was unchanged in two compared to last year, according
The data comparing May 2012 to May 2011 is not seasonally adjusted. The state unadjusted rate has dropped every month this year.
The May 2012 state unemployment rate was 8.4 percent and 12.3 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in May 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.
Payroll employment increased in four metros, fell in seven and was unchanged in one. Sectors increasing in the most metros were Manufacturing (10 of 12) and Educational/Health Services (eight of 12).
“May offers another reason to be cautiously optimistic that our moderate recovery will continue to bring lower unemployment and more jobs,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said.