CHICAGO - September local unemployment rates fell in every metro area compared to last year, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The state's unemployment rate now stands at 8.1%. Rockford's fell the most ( 2.6 points to 11.0 percent) from September, 2011 to September, 2012, but still has the highest unemployment rate of any metropolitan area in Illinois. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (-2.1 points to 8.0 percent) and Kankakee-Bradley (-1.3 points to 10.5 percent).
The state's overall unemployment rate has fallen every month in 2012, and is now below pre-2008 economic crash levels although still higher than the national average. "This month's report highlights that we have made steady progress in lowering the unemployment rate, but more needs to be done," IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a news release. "Hiring managers need to see consistent, long-term tax policy and spending priorities by the federal government before we will see stronger hiring increases."
Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.6% in September.