Illinois unemployment

The unemployment rate in all but one of Illinois’ 14 metro areas dropped from February 2016 to February 2017.  

The areas also saw a gain of nearly 42,000 jobs.   However, Department of Employment Security spokesman Bob Gough says the new jobs were limited to certain areas.  

"Chicago, doing really well, the bulk of that gain," he said.  "We had 38,500 jobs gained of the 41,000 total that were gained. Kankakee and Springfield saw some nice gains, but Carbondale, Peoria, and Rockford all took pretty big hits."


The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate fell below six percent in February.


The drop to 5.4 percent leaves Illinois' jobless rate at its lowest since late 2007. Preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released by the department Thursday indicate 25,600 non-farm jobs were added to Illinois' economy last month.

January job growth was revised to show an increase of 8,100 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 1,700 jobs.

The unemployment rate rose in most Illinois metro areas from January 2016 to January 2017.  

Illinois Department of Employment Security, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The unemployment rate in many northern Illinois counties fell from last year. 

Rockford’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent last month -- down from 7.4 percent in November 2015. That’s according to preliminary figures released last week by the Illinois employment security department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The latest data shows the number of unemployed Illinois residents is at its lowest since September of 2007.

But officials with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration say Illinois is still lagging when it comes to job growth.

Bob Gough, with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says the state has nearly 40,000 fewer jobs than peak employment, in pre-recession fall 2011.