The Rockford metropolitan area has seen strong job growth over the past year according to new data released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
The region added 3,300 jobs between April of last year and this year according to IDES, a 2.2% increase. Only the Lake-Kenosha Counties metro area added jobs at a higher rate (3.1%).
Even with the increase in jobs, however, the unemployment rate rose from 6.0% to 6.9% over that period, a sign that more workers are re-entering the labor force.
In fact, every metropolitan area saw increases in the unemployment rate even though many also saw job gains, a sign that previously discouraged workers are re-entering the workforce. The state budget crisis may also be having an impact as fewer people may be enrolled in colleges and universities for financial reasons.
According to IDES, here are the industries which have posted gains and losses in the Rockford region: Professional-Business Services (+1,700), Retail Trade (+800), Educational-Health Services (+700), and Transportation-Warehousing-Utilities (+400) sectors led other local industries in payroll gains. Construction (-300), Manufacturing (-300), and Information (-300) industries recorded declines compared to one year ago.