Unemployment rate drops 2% in the QC

The Quad Cities region is on an economic “positive trajectory” as the area’s unemployment rate took a sharp dip in March and unemployment fell in four Illinois Quad City counties, according to Illinois and U.S. employment officials.

The jobless rate for the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metropolitan statistical area (MSA) fell to 4.3% in March. That’s compared to 6.3% at the same time last year, according to preliminary employment data released Thursday, April 21, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Illinois’ statewide unemployment rate also fell 2% to 4.7% in March, IDES reported. 

Iowa’s state unemployment rate for March was 3.3% – down from 4.4% this time last year. Iowa does not have its county-by-county employment statistics released for March available yet.

Here are the March unemployment numbers, as reported by IDES, for Illinois Quad Cities area cities and counties:

  • Moline: 4.9% (Down from 6.9% in March 2021.)
  • Rock Island: 4.4% (Down from 7.1% in March 2021.)
  • Rock Island County: 4.9% (Down from 6.9% a year ago.)
  • Henry County: 4.5% (Down from 6.2% last March.)
  • Mercer County: 5.1% (Compared to 6.7% last March.)
  • Whiteside County: 4.2% (Down from 5.7% last March.)

The total nonfarm jobs in the QC area was 179,500 in March. That is a jump of 4,800 jobs compared to March last year.

“Illinois’ economy continues on a positive trajectory,” Illinois Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in a news release from IDES. “We stand ready to support job seekers and employers with innovative resources to continue across the state.”

The last time the unemployment rate in March was equal or lower was in 2007 when it was 4.3%.

Quad Cities industries showing the strongest growth included: leisure and hospitality, which added 2,000 jobs over the year; professional business services, up 1,100; and retail trade, up 1,000. Both the educational and health services sector and the construction sector declined over the year by 1,100 and 100 jobs, respectively.  

The Quad Cities was among the top three Illinois metro areas showing the largest decreases in  unemployment. It was behind Chicago Metropolitan Division, which was down 2.3% to 4.5%; and Decatur MSA, which was down 2.1% to 6.8%. The unemployment rate decreased in 101 counties and increased in only one, Rockford, where it was up 0.2% to 8.5%.

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