QC unemployment declines to 3.4% in September

Illinois Department of Employment Security logo

The unemployment rate in the Quad Cities region dropped 1% in September to 3.4% – hitting a new low for the month not seen in 14 years. 

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, released last week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), 

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased last month from 4.4% in September 2021. The last time the September rate was equal to or lower was in 1998 when it was 2.7%. 

In a news release issued Thursday, Oct. 27, IDES said that unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas for a straight fourth month. Jobs also increased in all the metro areas, including the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metro area. 

“Illinois continues to see steady job growth throughout the state,” Illinois Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in the release. “As unemployment insurance claims remain at record lows, the state labor market is ripe with opportunity for every type of jobseeker.” 

The Quad Cities metro area posted the third largest over-the-year percentage increase in total nonfarm jobs in the state. Jobs were up 3.9%, or 7,000. It trailed behind Chicago Metro, which saw a 4.7% increase or 169,900 new jobs, and Rockford’s metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which had a 4.4% increase in jobs, or 6,100. 

As of September, the Quad Cities MSA had 186,400 non-farm jobs – up from 179,400 for the same month last year. 

Across the region, IDES reported these unemployment rates: In Illinois, Henry County, 3.6%; Mercer County 3.2%, and Rock Island County 4%. The city of Moline posted 4% unemployment in the month while Rock Island was at 4.2%. 

The sectors showing the largest payroll gains over the year in the Quad Cities MSA were: leisure-hospitality, +3,000; professional-business services, +1,700; government, +1,200; and retail trade, +900. The educational-health services sector saw a largest decline with 1,200 fewer jobs over the year. 

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

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