QC payroll declines over the year as unemployment rises

The unemployment rate increased year-over-year in all Illinois metropolitan statistical areas including the Quad Cities, while this region was one of just three Illinois MSAs to record the loss of total nonfarm jobs over that period.

Overall, total nonfarm jobs increased in 11 Illinois metropolitan areas from February 2023 to February 2024, according to data released Thursday, March 28, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). 

At the same time, during that period, the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA recorded the loss of 1,600 non-farm jobs, or a 0.9% decline for the year that ended last month. During that same period, the metro Quad Cities non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 4.8% in February 2024 from 4.7% in February 2023. 

“Today’s data continues to highlight the health and expansion of the Illinois labor market, with increases in jobs throughout a multitude of industries touching every corner of the state,” Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in a news release. “As growth continues to supply jobseekers and employers with new opportunities, IDES and its workforce partners are positioned to assist both groups to thrive in the state’s economy.”

In the February unemployment report, the Quad Cities sectors that recorded the biggest year-over-year payroll declines were Professional Services, -2,000; Manufacturing, -600; and Leisure-Hospitality, -200. QC job gains were recorded in Construction, +300; Wholesale Trade, +300; Other Services, +300; Transportation-Warehousing-Utilities, +200; and Financial Activities, +100.

Other metro areas recording year-over-year unemployment rate increases were the Chicago Metro, +0.8 point to 5.1%; the Decatur MSA, +0.5 point to 6.4%; and the Illinois section of St. Louis MSA, +0.5 point to 4.6%.

Statewide, unemployment rose 0.6% to 5.3% in February compared to 4.7% a year ago. 

The IDES report also said that the Quad Cities unemployment rate in February 2024 compared to February 2023 by county was:

  • Henry County – 5.7%, up 0.3 percentage points from 5.4%.
  • Mercer County – 6.9% up 0.3 percentage points from 6.6%.
  • Rock Island County – 6% up 0.4 percentage points from 5.6%.

Data released by IDES also showed the unemployment rate was up in these cities of local interest:

  • Moline – 5.9%, up 0.2 percentage points from 5.7%.
  • Rock Island – 5.9%, up 0.7 percentage points from 5.2%
  • Galesburg – 6.1% up 0.5 percentage points from 5.2%.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

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