QC unemployment drops to 3.5% in October 

Illinois Department of Employment Security logo

The Quad Cities unemployment rate decreased to 3.5% in October as jobs grew over the year in the region as well as all of Illinois’ other 13 metro areas, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced. 

According to preliminary data released last week from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was down from 4.2% for the same period last year. The last time the October rate was equal to or lower was in 2019 when it was 3.5%, IDES said. 

Total nonfarm employment in the region increased by 9,300 jobs, or +5.1%, compared to a year ago. In October, the Quad Cities MSA had 190,800 total non-farm jobs – up from 181,500 in October 2021. 

The Quad Cities MSA had the second largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs. It came in behind the Rockford MSA (+5.5%, +7,700) and ahead of the Chicago Metro Division (+3.9%, +142,800). 

These Quad Cities sectors saw the largest payroll gains over the year: Leisure-Hospitality, +3,100 jobs; Government, +2,000; Professional-Business Services, +1,800; Manufacturing, +1,000, and Retail Trade, +1,000. Declines were posted in these sectors: Educational-Health Services, -400 jobs; and Financial Activities and Information sectors, both down 100 jobs over the year. 

IDES reported that the largest unemployment rate decreases were in these areas: Rockford MSA (-1.3 points to 5.9%), the Chicago Metro Division (-0.7 point to 4.4%) and the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA (-0.7 point to 3.5%). 

Across the state, the industries that saw job growth in a majority of metro areas included: Manufacturing and Leisure and Hospitality (14 areas each); Mining and Construction and Other Services (13 areas each); Education and Health Services (12 areas); Wholesale Trade (11 areas); Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (10 areas); Professional and Business Services and Government (eight areas each).

“Job growth in every corner of the state has remained consistently strong for more than a year and a half,” said Illinois Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Employers and jobseekers alike are encouraged to take advantage of the employment services IDES has to offer to participate in the expanding labor market.”

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