Metro-East News

Unemployment drops in metro-east, Illinois for seventh straight month

Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in December in all of the state’s metropolitan areas for the seventh consecutive month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said in a news release.

Illinois’ unemployment rate in December 2017 was 4.7 percent, which was down from 5.6 percent in December 2016, according to preliminary data released Thursday by IDES and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For the metro-east, the unemployment rate was even better at 4.3 percent in December 2017, down from 5.3 percent a year earlier, the news release said.

IDES also said nonfarm jobs increased in nine of the state’s metropolitan areas.

Statewide, there were 37,900 more jobs in December 2017 compared to December 2016, IDES said.

On the Illinois side of the St. Louis metropolitan area, 240,100 people had employment in nonfarm jobs, a 1,600-person increase from 238,500 people in December 2016.

“Eleven metro areas saw their lowest December unemployment rates since 2006,” said Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays. “The unemployment rate also decreased in all 102 counties over the year.”

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter