Unemployment Rates Rise in all Metro Areas as COVID-19 Impacts Entire State

The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in April in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas, with six metro areas at record low payrolls, 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 that the unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas to record highs for the month of April as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact local areas across the state. The official, BLS approved, sub-state unemployment rate and nonfarm jobs series begins in 1990. Data reported prior to 1990 are not directly comparable due to updates in methodology. Data shows the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Peoria (-17.9%, -30,500), Decatur (-17.6%, -9,000) and Rockford (-15.6%, -23,600). Jobs were down -12.8% (-483,200) in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights. Job losses occurred across all industries and there were no industry sectors that recorded job growth in a majority of metro areas. Not seasonally adjusted data compares April 2020 with April 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 16.9 percent in April 2020, a record high for the month of April, dating back to 1976. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 14.4 percent in April 2020, also a record high, dating back to 1948. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.


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