SPRINGFIELD – The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in December, 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 Illinois works to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic with the ongoing vaccine rollout, IDES remains committed to supporting displaced workers and families by offering support and services to those who need it,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “The Pritzker administration and IDES continue to work with the U.S. Department of Labor to implement the new federal unemployment program changes as seamlessly as possible to ensure claimants have access to benefits for which they are eligible to receive.”

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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 Peoria MSA (-9.6%, -16,300), the Elgin Metropolitan Division (-9.2%, -24,100) and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (-7.4%, -284,800). Three metro areas recorded their lowest total nonfarm jobs for the month of December 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 (+5.9 points to 8.7%), the Decatur MSA (+3.0 points to 8.2%) and the Springfield MSA (+2.5 points to 6.3%). The not seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in December 2020. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in December 2020.

Metro East Highlights

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The December 2020 unemployment rate for the Illinois Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area was 5.4 percent. The over-the-year rate increased +1.7 percentage points from the December 2019 rate of 3.7 percent. The data is not seasonally adjusted.

The labor force decreased by -12,957 to 330,357 in December 2020 from 343,314 in December 2019. The number of employed individuals decreased by -17,995 to 312,661 in December 2020 from 330,656 in December 2019. In December 2020, there were 17,696 unemployed people in the labor force. This is an increase of +5,038 compared to the 12,658 unemployed in December 2019.

The number of total nonfarm jobs was 234,300 compared to 244,000 in December 2019, which is a decrease of -9,700.

Employment declined in Leisure and Hospitality (-2,300), Manufacturing (-2,200), Educational and Health Services (-2,100), Other Services (-1,400), Professional and Business Services (-700), Financial Activities (-400), Mining and Construction (-200), Government (-200), Information (-200), and Retail Trade (-100).

Payrolls increased in Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (+100).

Note: Monthly 2019 unemployment rates and total nonfarm jobs for Illinois metro areas were revised in February and March 2020, as required by the U.S. BLS. Comments and tables distributed for prior metro area news releases should be discarded as any records or historical analysis previously cited may no longer be valid. The official monthly unemployment rate series for metro areas, counties and most cities begins in 1990. The official monthly nonfarm jobs series for metro areas begins in 1990 and for non-metropolitan counties it begins in 1999.

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