Quad Cities jobless rate drop second largest in state

Unemployment in the Quad Cities region stood at 3.8% for May – down from the 5.3% in a year-over-year comparison. That’s the second largest decline among all Illinois metropolitan statistical areas (MSA). 

The last time the Quad Cities region’s unemployment rate for May was equal to or lower than 3.8% was in 2019 when it was 3.4%.

The Quad Cities jobless rate was slightly higher than the 3.7% reported for the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA in April 2022. 

But the 1.5% drop in year-over-year May comparisons was second only to Chicagoland, according to the latest jobless figures posted by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The unemployment rate for the state’s largest metropolitan area dropped 2.6% from 6.8% in May 2021 to 4.2% in May 2022. 

Overall, according to data from IDES and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate declined in 11 Illinois MSAs, increased in one and remained unchanged in another. Jobs were up, however, in all metropolitan areas.

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

Total non-farm jobs in the Quad Cities metro area increased 7,400 from 178,300 in May 2021 to 185,700 in May of this year.

Additional statistics show these Quad Cities sectors had the largest payroll gains over the year: Leisure-Hospitality (+3,100), Manufacturing (+1,600), Professional-Business Services (+1,500), and Retail Trade (+800). Over the same period, however, the Educational-Health Services sector recorded a decline of 200 jobs.

“The Pritzker Administration is encouraged by Illinois’ continued positive economic trajectory,” Illinois Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in an IDES news release. “We remain committed to providing the resources needed to support and strengthen the state’s workforce.”

Here are the May 2022 unemployment rates and over-the-year changes around the Illinois Quad Cities region:


  • Rock Island: 4.7%, down 0.5%
  • Henry: 4.6%, down 0.2%
  • Mercer: 4.0%, down 0.2%


  • Moline: 4.7%, down 4.5%, down 0.3%
  • Rock Island: 5%, down 0.8%  
  • Galesburg: 6.9%, down 0.4%. 

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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