The Department of Employment Security’s latest numbers show Illinois jobless rates growing in most of the state’s metro areas.  Thirteen metro areas in Illinois saw their unemployment rate climb in January 2016 compared to data from January 2015. Rockford’s rate grew from 7.7 percent to 8.5 percent, Decatur’s from 7.8 percent to 8.7 percent, and Kankakee’s from 7.9 percent to 8.7 percent. Peoria and Danville’s unemployment rates grew the most. Peoria’s rose from 7.2 percent to 8.6 percent, while Danville’s rate went from 7.7 percent to a statewide high of 9.1 percent.

 “Though more people in Illinois entered the labor force, they were not able to find jobs,” 

Employment Security Director Jeff Mays said. “With Illinois trailing the rest of the country in job creation, we need structural reforms to get more people back to work.”

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The Chicago area was the only metro area in the state that did not see its unemployment rate rise. Its rate dropped from 6.9 percent in January 2015 to 6.6 percent in January 2016.

While the overall unemployment rate grew in January, businesses in Illinois added jobs in nine metro areas, with the largest increases occurring in Rockford (3,700 additional jobs), Lake-Kenosha (8,200 more jobs), and Carbondale-Marion (1,000 new jobs).

The department reported earlier this month that despite the job openings, the state’s unemployment rate rose in January to 6.3 percent.


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