Unemployment Numbers Recover Slowly

When it comes to determining local unemployment statistics, Illinois has 14 metropolitan areas, from Chicago to Rock Island to Carbondale. Throughout the year the Illinois Department of Employment Security surveys the employment picture in each of these areas and reports on its findings, giving us a look at the state’s employment picture which is more localized than the statewide unemployment figure.


The most recent report found that unemployment in Illinois is continuing its slow decline from the pandemic-affected numbers of one year ago, but that the recovery is not moving as fast in all parts of the state. Around our region, while unemployment declined in the Bloomington area (from 4.3% last year to 4.1% this year) around Peoria (5.6% down to 5.5%) and Champaign (from 4.5% to 4.3%), it was unchanged in the Danville area (6.1%) and actually increased slightly in the region around Kankakee (going from 6.0% last year to 6.2% this year).


Statewide unemployment declined by 1.6% from one year ago, with the biggest geographical gains occurring in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights region, where numbers improved from 6.8% last year to 4.2% this year. Another big gainer was the Quad Cities area of northwestern Illinois in which unemployment fell from 5.3% last year to 3.8% this year.