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Jobs up across nearly all 14 metro areas in February

Total nonfarm jobs increased in thirteen metropolitan areas and decreased in one for the year ending February 2023, according to data released March 30 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (DES). Over-the-year, the unemployment rate decreased in seven areas, increased in five areas and was unchanged in two.

“Today’s data is further indication that job growth continues to trend in the right direction with expansion throughout every corner of the state across sectors,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Job expansion creates new and growing career opportunities for jobseekers and the demand for employers to invest in and retain the talented and diverse Illinois labor force.”

The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs were the Bloomington MSA (+4.8%, +4,500), the Peoria MSA (3.9%, +6,400), and the Champaign-Urbana MSA (+3.4%, +4,000). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago Metropolitan Division were up +2.1% or +77,500. Total nonfarm jobs were down in the Illinois section of the St. Louis MSA (-0.4%, -1,000). Industries that saw job growth in a majority of metro areas included: Mining and Construction and Leisure and Hospitality (fourteen areas each); Education and Health Services, Other Services and Government (thirteen areas each); Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade (eleven areas each); Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (ten areas).

The metro areas with the largest unemployment rate decreases were in the Chicago Metropolitan Division (-0.9 point to 4.1%), the Rockford MSA (-0.8 point to 6.3%), and the Decatur MSA (-0.6 point to 5.9%). The largest unemployment rate increases were in the Lake County-Kenosha County Metro (+0.4 point to 5.4%), the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL MSA (+0.3%, +4.6%) and the Elgin Metro (+0.3 point to 5.9%). The unemployment rate was unchanged in the Bloomington MSA (4.0%) and the Champaign-Urbana MSA (4.1%).

Southern Illinois Highlights

Carbondale – Marion Area

The February 2023 unemployment rate was 4.5 percent. This was a decrease of -0.2 percentage point from the February 2022 rate of 4.7 percent. Total nonfarm employment in February 2023 increased by +1,300 jobs compared to February a year ago. Government payrolls increased over-the-year (+100).

Surrounding Counties

Total nonfarm payrolls increased by +50 jobs in February 2023 compared to a year ago.

Employment gains were posted in Government (+200), Construction (+150), Educational and Health Services (+25), Information (+25), Manufacturing (+25) and Natural Resources and Mining (+25).

February payrolls declined in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-275), Leisure and Hospitality (-75), Professional and Business Services (-25), Financial Activities (-25) and Other Services (-25).

Harrisburg Area

Total nonfarm employment increased by +850 jobs in February 2023 compared to February 2022.

Employment gains were posted in Government (+325), Educational and Health Services (+250), Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+100), Construction (+50), Information (+50), Manufacturing (+50), Natural Resources and Mining (+50) and Other Services (+25).

Employment declined over-the-year in Professional and Business Services (-50) and Leisure and Hospitality (-50).

Financial Activities payrolls were unchanged in February 2023.

Olney – Mt. Carmel Area

Total nonfarm employment increased by +400 jobs in February 2023 compared to February 2022.

Payrolls increased in Government (+300), Educational and Health Services (+100), Information (+25), Other Services (+25), Financial Activities (+25) and Construction (+25).

Payrolls decreased in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-50).

No changes were reported in Manufacturing, Professional and Business Services, Natural Resources and Mining, or Leisure and Hospitality.


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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