Unemployment Rate Down in February for All Fourteen Metros Amidst Ongoing Surge of Unemployment Claims as a Result of COVID-19

Contact: Rebecca Cisco | 217.524.1219
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4/2/20 - While the unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in February in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas and all 102 counties, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the department continues to receive an unprecedented number of unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19. 

“This administration is fully committed to the health and safety of our workforce and ensuring our workers can provide for their families in this challenging time,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “As we navigate this period of economic uncertainty, we will continue to champion policies that will lift up every Illinoisan while making investments that will help to strengthen our economy.”

Data also shows the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in nine Illinois metropolitan areas and increased in five. Illinois businesses added jobs in five metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in Kankakee (+2.2%, +1,000), Champaign-Urbana (+1.8%, +2,100) and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights (+1.0%, +37,500). Total nonfarm jobs were down in Rockford (-3.5%, -5,200), Peoria (-1.8%, -3,000) and Lake-Kenosha (-1.2%, -5,100). The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Education and Health Services (11 of 14).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares February 2020 with February 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 3.5 percent in February 2020 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in February 2020 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.  

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan AreaFebruary 2020*February 2019**Over-the-Year Change
Bloomington2.8%4.5%-1.7
Carbondale-Marion3.1%4.7%-1.6
Champaign-Urbana 2.7%
4.4%-1.7
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights3.4%4.2%-0.8
Danville 4.1%5.9%-1.8
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL4.0%4.8%-0.8
Decatur 4.3%5.9%-1.6
Elgin4.0%5.6%-1.6
Kankakee4.5%6.3%-1.8
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI3.9%5.2%-1.3
Peoria4.2%5.8%-1.6
Rockford4.8%6.1%-1.3
Springfield3.2%4.9%-1.7
St. Louis (IL-Section)3.2%4.8%-1.6
Illinois Statewide3.5%4.7%-1.2
* Preliminary | ** Revised    


Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – February 2020

Metropolitan AreaFebruaryFebruaryOver-the-Year
 2020*2019**Change
Bloomington MSA91,40092,400-1,000
Carbondale-Marion MSA57,70058,100-400
Champaign-Urbana MSA117,400115,3002,100
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division3,754,0003,716,50037,500
Danville MSA26,90027,100-200
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA182,700183,300-600
Decatur MSA49,40049,900-500
Elgin Metro Division257,200257,100100
Kankakee MSA45,60044,6001,000
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division406,800411,900-5,100
Peoria MSA164,900167,900-3,000
Rockford MSA144,800150,000-5,200
Springfield MSA107,500108,300-800
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA236,900236,500400
Illinois Statewide6,022,3006,005,90016,400
*Preliminary | **Revised