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Unemployment rates down in all 14 metro areas, jobs up in most areas in January

The unemployment rate decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in January according to preliminary data released on Mar. 16, 2023, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Jobs were up in all metro areas except one.

“Metro areas throughout the state continue to experience consistent job growth across industry sectors,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “As new jobs are added statewide and across industries, jobseekers and employers are encouraged to take advantage of the services and resources IDES offers in connecting workers and employers.”

The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs were the Peoria MSA (4.2 percent, +6,900), the Springfield MSA (+3.6 percent, +3,800) and the Rockford MSA (+3.5 percent, +4,900). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago Metropolitan Division were up +2.7 percent or +99,300. Total nonfarm jobs were down slightly in the Illinois section of the St. Louis MSA (-0.3 percent, -800). Industries that saw job growth in a majority of metro areas included: Leisure and Hospitality (fourteen areas); Mining and Construction and Education and Health Services (thirteen areas each); Other Services (twelve areas); Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (eleven areas each); and Government (nine areas).

The metro areas with the largest unemployment rate decreases were in the Rockford MSA (-2.5 points to 5.8 percent), the Decatur MSA (-1.6 points to 5.4 percent), and the Carbondale-Marion MSA (-1.1 points to 4.3 percent). The Chicago Metropolitan Division unemployment rate decreased -0.5 point to 4.7 percent. The unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in 98 counties, increased in 3 and was unchanged in 1.

Central Illinois Highlights

Decatur MSA

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.4 percent in January 2023, a decrease of -1.6 percentage points from January 2022. There were an estimated 2,413 unemployed people in the labor force in January 2023.

The number of total nonfarm jobs in the Decatur metro area increased by +800 compared to a year ago.

Employment increased in Construction and Mining (+200), Other Services (+200). Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (+200), Government (+200), and Leisure and Hospitality (+100).

Payrolls were unchanged in Educational and Health Services, Professional and Business Services, Information, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, and Financial Activities.

January payrolls declined in Retail Trade (-100).

Springfield MSA

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased -0.9 percentage point to 4.3 percent in January 2023 from 5.2 percent in January 2022. There were an estimated 4,345 unemployed people in the labor force in January 2023.

The number of total nonfarm jobs in the Springfield metro area increased by +3,800 compared to a year ago.

Payrolls increased in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,000), Professional and Business Services (+900), Educational and Health Services (+700), Government (+600), Mining and Construction (+600), Other Services (+400), Manufacturing (+200), Wholesale Trade (+200), Financial Activities (+200).

No payroll changes were reported in Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities.

Decreased employment was reported in Information (-900) and Retail Trade (-100).

Note: Monthly 2022 unemployment rates and total nonfarm jobs for Illinois metro areas were revised in February and March 2023, as required by the U.S. BLS. Comments and tables distributed for prior metro area news releases should be discarded as any records or historical analysis previously cited may no longer be valid.

Disclaimer: The data contained in the metro area employment numbers press releases are not seasonally adjusted, and therefore are subject to seasonal fluctuations due to factors such as changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Current monthly metro data should be compared to the same month from prior years (January 2023 data compared to January 2022 data) as data for these months have similar seasonal patterns. Comparisons should not be made to data for the immediate previous month or other previous non-matching months, as any changes in the data within these time periods may be the result of seasonal fluctuations and not economic factors.

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