Jobless rate drops in most Illinois metro areas

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment fell in March in 10 of the state's 12 metro areas.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the numbers released Thursday indicate the state's economy is improving and people are becoming more confident about it.

Joblessness in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metro area fell sharply compared to March 2013 from 9.3 percent to 8.1 percent

Elsewhere the sharpest decline was in the Kankakee-Bradley area. The jobless rate there sank from 11.8 percent to 10.7 percent.

Rockford's unemployment rate fell from 11.8 to 10.9 percent.

Unemployment was up slightly to 11.1 percent in Danville and 7.1 percent in Bloomington-Normal.

Earlier this month the department said Illinois' jobless rate for March was 8.4 percent. That remains one of the country's highest jobless rates.

Metro area    March 2014   March 2013

   Bloomington-Normal 7.1%6.9%

   Champaign-Urbana 7.5%7.8%


   Danville 11.1%10.8%

   Davenport-Moline-Rock Island 7.1%7.2%

   Decatur 11.1%11.5%

   Kankakee-Bradley 10.7%11.8%

   Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI8.6%9.3%




   St. Louis (IL-Section)7.9%8.8%

   Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security

Current Conditions