The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in March in twelve Illinois metropolitan areas according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also shows the unemployment rate temporarily decreased over the year due to the shrinking of the labor force as businesses began to close and workers transitioned due to COVID-19. The unemployment rate and labor force fell in thirteen metropolitan areas. Data shows the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in twelve Illinois metropolitan areas and increased in two. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Rockford (-4.0%, -6,000), Peoria (-2.5%, -4,300), and Lake-Kenosha (-1.7%, -7,200). Jobs were also down in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights (-0.2%, -8,800). Illinois businesses added jobs in Kankakee (+2.0%, +900) and Champaign-Urbana (+1.3%, +1,500). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Education and Health Services (10 of 14).Not seasonally adjusted data compares March 2020 with March 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 4.4 percent in March 2020 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.5 percent in March 2020 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.