The northern Illinois metro area had a 15.1 percent jobless rate, according to July numbers released Thursday. That's up more than 1 percentage point from June, when the community of about 157,000 people topped the list with a 14 percent rate.
Rockford's rate is 6 percentage points higher than June last year.
Unemployment rose in all 12 metropolitan areas in July compared with the same time last year.
Peoria showed the largest jump, from 5.9 percent in July 2008 to 12.3 percent last July.
Illinois Department of Unemployment Security officials last week said statewide unemployment rose to 10.4 percent in July even though the pace of job losses is slowing.