ROCKFORD - The Rockford area is losing jobs, and government downsizing appears to be the main culprit. Preliminary August unemployment figures reveal the region, which includes Freeport and Belvidere, lost 1000 jobs over the past 12 months, 900 of those government jobs. The losses offset modest gains in Leisure and Hospitality, Education and Health Services, and Manufacturing.
Even with the declines, the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security reports that the unemployment rate for the metropolitan area dropped to 10.7%. It was 11.6% in August of last year. Such a significant decrease despite fewer jobs would indicate either many discouraged unemployed workers leaving the workforce, and outflow of population, or a combination of both.
The Director of IDES also fears what's happening in Washington, D.C. could make the situation worse. "A federal government shutdown could derail the progress that we have made while undermining consumer confidence and threatening job growth" says IDES Director Jay Rowell.
The Springfield metro area has the lowest Unemployment in the state with 7%. Decatur has the highest with 12%.
|Jo Daviess County||6.10%||6.90%|