Chicago-Area Unemployment Worst in 20 Years

Unemployment rates in local metro areas worse than national average

New unemployment numbers show the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division is faring worse than the nation.  We're now at 9 percent unemployment -- that's up 3.4 percent from a year ago, and a loss of 126,400 jobs.

The Illinois Department of Unemployment Security just released new figures for the month of February.  They show the worst unemployment rates in 20 years, with the statewide unemployment rate hitting 8.6 percent.  The national unemployment rate is now at 8.1 percent.

Rockford had the biggest increase in unemployment, followed by the Chicago area, then Kankakee/Bradly, and Lake/Kenosha counties.

While the unemployment rate is higher in Rockford, at a whopping 14 percent, Chicago showed the greatest number of job losses in the area.

The Department of Employment Security is responding by expanding its teleserve hours, so people will have more time to certify their unemployment benefits, Director Maureen O'Donnell said.

The only job growth in the state was in educational and health services.

Metropolitan AreaFeb. 2009Feb. 2008
Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl.7.2%5.3%
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI9.8%6.5%
St. Louis (IL-Section)9.4%7.0%
  * Data subject to revision.    
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