Illinois Job Market Blooms with Major Gains in Danville, Elgin, but Not All Cities Reap Rewards

Illinois Job Market Blooms with Major Gains in Danville, Elgin, but Not All Cities Reap RewardsSource: Google Street View
Richard M. Sullivan
Published on November 23, 2023

In a promising turn for the Prairie State's economy, job numbers have shot up in the majority of Illinois metropolitan areas, as detailed in a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, IDES announced with some areas seeing significant leaps in employment.

Leading the pack with a stride in job creation was the Danville MSA, where nonfarm employment ballooned by 3.0%, representing an increase of 800 jobs. According to the report, Elgin's Metro Division wasn't far behind, boasting a 2.2% rise, which translates to 5,900 additional jobs, while Springfield also witnessed a noteworthy upswing of 1.6%, or 1,800 jobs. Yet the urban giant, the Chicago Metro, saw a modest increase compared to its smaller counterparts, adding 0.7%, or 26,200 jobs, to its ledger.

"With consistent gains in payroll jobs, jobseekers and employers continue to find new opportunities to land their next jobs and fill open positions," Deputy Governor Andy Manar enthused, signaling brighter prospects for Illinois workers. His sentiments echoed through the IDES communication channels. Manar remained bullish about the future of work in Illinois, pointing to relentless efforts in workforce development and IDES's key role in strengthening the labor market.

However, it wasn't all roses for some areas—Kankakee, Decatur, and Rockford MSA experienced a dip, with nonfarm jobs diminishing by 1.1%, 0.8%, and 0.8%, respectively, translating to several hundred jobs vanishing from their economies. The job growth sectors cast a wide net, with government roles expanding in thirteen metro areas, while the education and health services, leisure, and hospitality sectors also saw job increases in eleven areas.

Shifting focus to the jobless rates puts a spotlight on the mixed bag of unemployment numbers, with the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL MSA leading the unfortunate pack, as it witnessed a 1.5 percentage point jump to a 4.9% unemployment rate, along with Decatur and Rockford MSA's inching up by 1.2 percentage points, both settling at 6.1%. Contrasting that, the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division managed to slightly shrink its unemployment rate by 0.1 point, taking it down to a more palatable 4.4%.