QC sees April unemployment rate rise, jobs decline

IDES jobless jobs
The unemployment rate in Illinois rose slightly in May to 4.9% while nonfarm jobs increased by +12,700, according to the preliminary jobs report by Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), which is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary data. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

The Quad Cities is one of just four metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) to record job losses in April, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported recently. And the region’s unemployment rate rose from 3.6% in April 2023, to 4% in April 2024.

Over-the-year the unemployment increased in 13 metropolitan areas and decreased in only the Rockford MSA, according to data released Thursday, May 23, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. Statewide over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs rose in 10 metropolitan areas and decreased in four for the year ending April 2024.

Industries that saw job growth in a majority of Illinois’ metro areas included: Government, 14 areas; Private Education and Health Services, 11 areas; Wholesale Trade, 10 areas; and Manufacturing, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services (eight areas each).

“Continued job growth across metro areas and industry sectors position both job seekers and employers to tap into newly created and expanded opportunities to begin or further career growth,” Deputy Governor Andy Manar said in the IDES news release. “IDES is proud to collaborate with its workforce partners to provide critical employment and reemployment services, including matching workers with hiring employers across the state.”

QC MSA loses 2,100 jobs

In all, the report said, total nonfarm jobs in the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA decreased 1.1% or -2,100 jobs compared to April 2023. The only metro area to report more losses in April was the Springfield, Illinois, MSA where total nonfarm employed declined -2.8% or -3,100.

Quad Cities Industries that saw year-over-year payroll gains were: Retail Trade, +300; Other Services, +300; Private Education-Health Services, +300; Transportation-Warehousing-Utilities, +200; Wholesale Trade. +200; and Government, +100. 

Meanwhile, Quad Cities industries reporting payroll loss were: Professional-Business Services, -2,400;  Leisure-Hospitality, -500; Manufacturing, -400; Financial Activities, -100; and Construction, -100. 

QC numbers breakdown

IDES’ April report also shared the following April 2023 versus April 2024 unemployment rates for cities and counties in the Quad Cities MSA. They included:

  • Henry County: 4.5%, up 0.7% to 5.2%.
  • Mercer County: 4.1%, up 1.4% to 5.5%.
  • Rock Island County: 4.3%, up 0.8% to 5.1%.
  • City of Moline: 4.2%, up 0.9% to 5.1%. 
  • City of Rock Island: 4.4%, up 0.7% to 5.1%.

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.


Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.