Unemployment Rates Down for the Seventh Consecutive Month, Jobs Up in All Metro Areas
SPRINGFIELD - The unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in October for the seventh consecutive month according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Jobs were up in all fourteen metropolitan areas.
"The Illinois economy and job market has seen continued positive growth for more than half the year across all corners of the state," said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. "While we continue to wade through the pandemic recovery period, the Pritzker administration and IDES remain focused on providing more opportunities for people looking to reengage with the workforce."
Over-the-year, total nonfarm jobs increased in all fourteen metropolitan areas. The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs were the Carbondale-Marion MSA (+4.4%, +2,500), the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division (+3.4%, +119,600) and the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL MSA (+3.2%, +5,700). The industries that saw job growth in a majority of metro areas included: Leisure and Hospitality (fourteen areas); Transportation, Warehousing and Public Utilities (thirteen areas); Wholesale Trade, Other Services and Government (eleven areas each); Manufacturing (nine areas); Mining and Construction, Professional and Business Services and Education and Health Services (eight areas each).
Over-the-year, the unemployment rate decreased in all 14 metropolitan areas. The metro areas with the largest unemployment rate decreases were the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division (-3.4 points to 5.4%), the Elgin Metro Division (-1.9 points to 4.5%) and the Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metro Division (-1.9 points to 3.8%). The unemployment rate decreased over-the-year in 101 of 102 counties and increased in one.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL
St. Louis (IL-Section)
* Preliminary I ** Revised
Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) - October 2021
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA
Elgin Metro Division
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA
*Preliminary | **Revised
Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
(percent) for Local Counties and Areas
Labor Market Area
Over the Year Change
St. Louis (IL-Section)
St. Clair County
East St. Louis City
Metro East Highlights
The October 2021 unemployment rate for the Illinois Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area was 4.0 percent. The over-the-year rate decreased -1.7 percentage points from the October 2020 rate of 5.7 percent. The data is not seasonally adjusted.
The labor force decreased by -22,411 in October 2021 to 329,027 from 351,438 in October 2020. The number of employed individuals decreased by -15,737 to 315,842 in October 2021 from 331,579 in October 2020. In October 2021, there were 13,185 unemployed people in the labor force. This is a decrease of -6,674 compared to the 19,859 unemployed in October 2020.
The number of total nonfarm jobs in October 2021 was 233,800 compared to 230,000 in October 2020, which is an increase of +3,300.
Payrolls increased in Government (+2,000), Leisure and Hospitality (+1,000), Educational and Health Services (+300), Professional and Business Services (+300), Other Services (+200), Wholesale Trade (+100), Transportation, Warehousing, and Utilities (+100), and Manufacturing (+100).
Employment declined in Financial Activities (-300), Retail Trade (-200), Information (-200), and Mining and Construction
Notes: 1. September unemployment rates for Illinois statewide and local areas were subject to larger revisions due to an implementation of an improvement to an outlier treatment by the BLS in the State of Michigan. More information on the September 2021 unemployment rate revisions can be found on page 3 of this press release.
2. Monthly 2020 unemployment rates and total nonfarm jobs for Illinois metro areas were revised in February and March 2021, 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.
Explanation of revisions to September 2021 statewide and local area unemployment rates
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has examined state labor force data for unusual monthly changes, also referred to as outliers, and made monthly adjustments based on a statistical evaluation of the monthly changes. Without these adjustments, the BLS statewide labor force models would have discounted a portion of the pandemic impact and would not have reflected accurately the current labor force conditions.
In January 2021, BLS introduced an adjustment to the State of Michigan's labor force model in response to a detected outlier. This adjustment inadvertently created distortions to statewide labor force estimates for Michigan and other states within the East North Central Division (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin) for January and all subsequent months through September 2021. One part of the monthly statewide labor force estimation process involves adjusting monthly statewide employed and unemployed estimates to equal monthly Census Division employed and unemployed levels. In turn, Census Division employed and unemployed estimations are adjusted to national monthly employed and unemployed estimates, which ensures that the sum of all states equals national employed and unemployed.
The distortions to the state labor force estimates occurred gradually through September 2021 but were only recently identified by the BLS after Illinois and another East North Central Division state raised concerns about their monthly 2021 statewide labor force estimates. The BLS has found that distortions to the Illinois labor force estimates are limited to January-September 2021.
In addition, many local areas saw larger than typical revisions to their September unemployment rates because of the distortions to statewide labor force estimates. Local area labor force estimates are adjusted to sum to statewide labor force estimates, as part of sub-state methodology. As a result, the distortions to September statewide labor force estimates were distributed across Illinois local areas, including metropolitan areas, counties, published cities, Local Workforce Innovation Areas and Economic Development Regions. You can view comparisons between preliminary and revised September state and local area unemployment rates here.
Effective October 2021, BLS changed its approach to detecting and adjusting for outliers in monthly statewide labor force data. This change has reduced distortions to the revised September 2021 statewide labor force estimates and the preliminary October 2021 statewide labor force estimates for Illinois and other states in the East North Central Division. The distortions made to January-August 2021 statewide and local area labor force estimates will be modified during the annual benchmarking process in February and March 2022.
For more information concerning the BLS adjustment, please call (202) 691-6392 or use the e-mail request form here. For media inquiries, please call (202) 691-5902 or send an e-mail to PressOffice@bls.gov.