One Year Later, Unemployment Rates Up, Jobs Down Statewide And in Our Metro Region

One Year Later, Unemployment Rates Up, Jobs Down Statewide And in Our Metro Region

Unemployment rates have improved since the worst of the pandemic, statewide and regionally, but the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows there’s still a long way to go before we get back to the employment rates we saw a year ago.

According to a Thursday (March 18, 2021) news releases from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas. The unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas.

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.

“As IDES works to rollout the new extensions provided in the American Rescue Plan Act to ensure eligible claimants have access to benefits, they will continue to provide job-matching resources to individuals as the economy works to recover statewide,” said Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes.

Unfortunately, Kane County is among the metro areas that have the most ground to make up.

The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in total nonfarm jobs were the Kankakee MSA (-9.8%, -4,500), the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (-9.1%, -342,700) and the Elgin Metropolitan Division (-8.4%, -21,400). Three metro areas recorded their lowest total nonfarm jobs for the month of January on record (dating back to 1990).

Over-the-year, the unemployment rate increased in all 14 metropolitan areas; the metro areas with the largest unemployment rate increases were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (+5.3 points to 9.1%), the Decatur MSA (+5.1 points to 9.9%) and the Springfield MSA (+3.9 points to 7.6%).

The not seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in January 2021.  Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in January 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

SOURCE: IDES news release