Unemployment Rates Up, Jobs Down for Every Metro Area Compared to Last March

Contact: Rebecca Cisco | 217.524.1219
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4/22/21 - The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in March, 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 the state moves through pandemic recovery and the economy begins to heal itself, the major focus remains on assisting claimants and providing support to those still impacted,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “IDES remains committed to administering benefits and providing job-matching services to individuals dislocated from their jobs as a result of the pandemic and eager to jump back into the workforce.”

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 (-7.5%, -280,400), the Kankakee MSA (-7.1%, -3,200), and the Decatur MSA (-6.3%, -3,100). Three metro areas recorded their lowest total nonfarm jobs for the month of March 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 (+3.8 points to 7.7%), Decatur MSA (+3.4 points to 8.6%), the Rockford MSA (+2.8 points to 8.1%). The not seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in March 2021. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in March 2021.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan AreaMarch 2021*March 2020**Over-the-Year Change
Champaign-Urbana 4.9%3.0%1.9
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights7.7%3.9%3.8
Danville 6.9%4.3%2.6
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL5.9%4.4%1.5
Decatur 8.6%5.2%3.4
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI6.2%4.3%1.9
St. Louis (IL-Section)5.6%3.4%2.2
Illinois Statewide7.1%4.0%3.1
* Preliminary  I  ** Revised    

Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) –March 2021

Metropolitan AreaMarchMarch Over-the-Year
 2021*2020** Change
Bloomington MSA86,40091,900 -5,500
Carbondale-Marion MSA55,10057,800 -2,700
Champaign-Urbana MSA116,200117,900 -1,700
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division3,461,6003,742,000 -280,400
Danville MSA26,30027,000
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA174,700182,900 -8,200
Decatur MSA46,10049,200 -3,100
Elgin Metro Division237,600253,400 -15,800
Kankakee MSA41,90045,100 -3,200
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division391,800410,800 -19,000
Peoria MSA157,600167,300 -9,700
Rockford MSA137,500145,600 -8,100
Springfield MSA101,000106,600 -5,600
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA227,000238,000 -11,000
Illinois Statewide5,661,5006,020,300 -358,800
*Preliminary |**Revised