Unemployment Rates Up, Jobs Down in February for Every Metro Area

Contact: Rebecca Cisco | 217.524.1219
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4/1/21 – The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in February, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas. The official, BLS approved sub-state unemployment rate and nonfarm jobs series begins in 1990. Data reported prior to 1990 are not directly comparable due to updates in methodology.

“As expected, the global, national, and state impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are still very present and the effects continue to linger on the economy and the workforce,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes . “This is why the Pritzker administration is grateful the federal government acted quickly to roll out the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act with critical extensions and program continuity, and why IDES is committed to transitioning claimants between programs as seamlessly as possible to ensure individuals receive as little disruption to services during this uncertain period.”

The number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas. The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage decreases in total nonfarm jobs were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (-8.8%, -330,200), the Elgin Metro Division (-8.2%, -21,000) and the Kankakee MSA (-8.1%, -3,700). Three metro areas recorded their lowest total nonfarm jobs for the month of February on record (dating back to 1990).

Over-the-year, the unemployment rate increased in all 14 metropolitan areas; the metro areas with the largest unemployment rate increases were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (+5.1 points to 8.8%), the Rockford MSA (+4.8 points to 9.7%) and the Decatur MSA (+4.0 points to 8.4%). The not seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in February 2021. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in February 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan AreaFebruary 2021*February 2020**Over-the-Year Change
Bloomington5.1%2.8%2.3
Carbondale-Marion5.9%3.2%2.7
Champaign-Urbana 5.0%2.7%2.3
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights8.8%3.7%5.1
Danville 6.9%4.1%2.8
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL6.1%4.1%2.0
Decatur 8.4%4.4%4.0
Elgin7.0%4.1%2.9
Kankakee7.5%4.7%2.8
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI6.1%3.9%2.2
Peoria7.0%4.2%2.8
Rockford9.7%4.9%4.8
Springfield6.2%3.3%2.9
St. Louis (IL-Section)5.6%3.2%2.4
Illinois Statewide7.8%3.7%4.1
* Preliminary  I  ** Revised    


Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) –February 2021

FebruaryFebruaryOver-the-Year 
Metropolitan Area2021*2020**Change 
Bloomington MSA86,20092,500-6,300 
Carbondale-Marion MSA53,10056,400-3,300 
Champaign-Urbana MSA114,900117,900-3,000 
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division3,431,4003,761,600-330,200 
Danville MSA25,90026,900-1,000 
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA171,900183,100-11,200 
Decatur MSA45,90049,600-3,700 
Elgin Metro Division234,300255,300-21,000 
Kankakee MSA41,70045,400-3,700 
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division386,600412,300-25,700 
Peoria MSA155,400168,200-12,800 
Rockford MSA136,200146,800-10,600 
Springfield MSA100,300107,100-6,800 
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA224,200236,500-12,300 
Illinois Statewide5,590,0006,044,400-454,400 
*Preliminary | **Revised