Rockford Area Losing Jobs, but Unemployment Rate Still Falling

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September was the 19th month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area, but eight metro areas including Rockford also saw job losses compared to a year ago, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Not seasonally adjusted data compares September 2015 with September 2014.

IDES reports that Rockford’s unemployment rate for September now stands at 6.2%, down from 7.1% a year ago despite losing 200 jobs in the past year.  It’s the latest in a long term trend which has seen far fewer unemployed in the Rockford region because people are dropping out of the workforce or leaving the state altogether.

“Illinois unemployment data since January have shown very weak employment growth compared to many other states,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said in a news release. “Sub-state data paint an even bleaker picture for areas outside of the Chicago area that have lost a net 10,000 jobs over the past year.  Additionally, our internal unemployment insurance claims data indicate the likelihood of labor market softening in the coming months.”

The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 5.1% in September.

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