QC jobless rate drops to 3.8%, adds 7,500 jobs in August

Illinois Department of Employment Security logo

The August jobless rate dropped to 3.8% in the Quad Cities metropolitan area compared to the same month last year. That’s thanks to a 1.3 percentage point unemployment rate decline fueled in part by a 4.2% increase in jobs over a year ago.

The unemployment rate declined in all 14 of Illinois’ metropolitan statistical (MSA) areas in August. The Quad Cities was once again among the metro areas with the largest over-the-year unemployment rate decreases, according to preliminary data released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

The Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA experienced the third largest drop – behind the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights MSA, which dropped 1.6 points to 5% and the Carbondale-Marion MSA which dropped 1.3 points to 4.5%. The unemployment rate decreased over the year in 97 counties, increased in two, and was unchanged in three.

Statewide in August, Illinois added 233,100 jobs over last year. The Quad Cities MSA had the third biggest percentage increase in total jobs after adding 7,500 in August (+4.2%). Only the Rockford MSA (+ 5.2%) and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights MSA (+4.8%)  were higher.

The Quad Cities area unemployment rate decreased to 3.8% in August 2022 from 5.1% in August 2021. The last time the August rate was equal to or lower was in 2019 when it was 3.8%, IDES reported.

The Quad Cities sectors recording the largest payroll gains over last year were:

  • Leisure-Hospitality, +2,800.
  • Professional-Business Services, +1,700.
  • Retail Trade,+1,100.
  • Government,+1,100.
  • Manufacturing,+1,100. 

Here are unemployment rates and over-the-year changes around the Illinois Quad Cities region:


  • Rock Island: 4.4%, down 0.9%.
  • Henry: 4%, down 0.5%.
  • Mercer: 3.4%, down 1%.


  • Moline: 4.5%, down 0.7%
  • Rock Island: 4.5%, down 1.3%  
  • Galesburg: 6.2%, down 1.1%. 

“Economic recovery, jobs growth, and consistent historically low unemployment claims data continues to signal a strong labor market throughout the state,” Illinois Deputy Governor Andy Manar said in a release. “Whether you’re returning to the workforce or looking to switch career fields, the State of Illinois offers a suite of workforce development and job and training resources to those who are looking for it.”

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. Those who have exhausted benefits or are ineligible are reflected in the unemployment rate if they are actively seeking work. 

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