DeKalb County unemployment rate up again

DeKALB – For the fourth month in a row, the unemployment rate in DeKalb County was higher than it was during the same time last year.

The unemployment rate for the county was 8.6 percent in April, a slight increase compared to the April 2012 rate of 8.2 percent, according to seasonally unadjusted data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

“Overall, for the last few years, things have been trending up in general,” IDES analyst Norman Kelewitz said. “But the recovery has been uneven. This is one of the periods where things aren’t trending up all of the time.”

The labor force – comprised of people who are employed or looking for work – dropped by 50 people year-over-year to 58,906 in April.

But there was a drop in the number of employed people living in the county and a sharp rise in the number of unemployed. Between April 2012 and April 2013, the number of employed workers dropped 0.56 percent from 54,138 to 53,833.

During that same time frame, the number of unemployed people in the county rose 5.3 percent from 4,818 to 5,073.

Across the state, unemployment fell in nine of 12 metropolitan areas when compared to last year. In the Chicago metropolitan area, which includes DeKalb County, the unemployment rate rose from 8.8 percent in April 2012 to 9.3 percent in April 2013.

Kelewitz said job sectors that did well in the Chicago area were professional and business services, and health care.

IDES spokesman Greg ­Rivara said this uneven progression has been the hallmark of the nation’s economic recovery.

“This is a recovery that has been stubborn,” Rivara said. “It has not touched every doorstep. But it has added more than 200,000 private sector jobs since January 2010.”

Illinois had the second highest unemployment rate in the nation in April, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, but the unemployment rate in Illinois was 9.3 percent.

Rivara said the unemployment rate in Illinois is historically higher than the national average. Since 2000, there have been only six times when the monthly unemployment rate was lower in Illinois than across the United States, he said.

By the numbers

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment in DeKalb County for the last 12 months
May: 7.9 percent
June: 9.1 percent
July: 8.6 percent
August: 7.8 percent
September: 6.9 percent
October: 7.4 percent
November: 7.3 percent
December: 7.7 percent
January: 9.6 percent
February: 9.9 percent
March: 8.9 percent
April: 8.6 percent

Seasonally unadjusted unemployment in DeKalb County and nearby counties for April 2013
DeKalb County: 8.6 percent
Boone County: 10.2 percent
Kane County: 9.5 percent
Kendall County: 8.9 percent
LaSalle County: 9.7 percent
Lee County: 8.0 percent
McHenry County: 8.9 percent
Ogle County: 9.4 percent
Winnebago County: 11.5 percent