Recession-Level Unemployment Rates Continue

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) published a monthly report this week on August 2022 unemployment in 14 metropolitan areas throughout Illinois.


The report shows that recession-level unemployment rates continue to be in effect in four major Illinois metropolitan areas: Danville (5.7%), Decatur (6.5%), Kankakee (5.9%), and Rockford (6.8%). These metro areas are historically tied to U.S. industry and manufacturing. The statewide Illinois August 2022 unemployment rate was 4.8%, which closely matched the local rates in major metropolitan areas (Chicago – 5.0%, Peoria – 4.9%) that are transitioning from manufacturing to service industries. Two centers of Illinois higher education and computer-chip-aided manufacturing, Bloomington (3.9%) and Champaign-Urbana (4.3%), had relatively low unemployment in August 2022.


Unemployment rates continue to be much lower in neighboring states than in Illinois. This pattern of non-Illinois prosperity helped unemployment rates in two non-Illinois-dominated metro areas: the Quad Cities (3.8%) and the St. Louis area (4.3%).