Twelve of 14 Illinois metro areas fall short of national average job growth

The May 2017 monthly metropolitan-area job report was released this week by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). While unemployment rates dropped in most Illinois metro areas, this drop was attributed to a decline in the number of Illinois residents classified as being in the active labor force rather than new jobs being created. As with the state as a whole, few new jobs are being created.

Job seekers are beginning to see a tight job market in many metro areas of Illinois, with unemployment dropping to 4.1% in the key Chicago-Naperville region and to 3.9% in Lake County. For job-counting purposes, Lake County is separated from the rest of metro Chicago. Many Illinoisans are finding, however, that the continued transition of the Illinois and U.S. economies from a manufacturing-based economy to a services-based economy means that many residents need to have specialized skills in order to participate actively in the Illinois labor force.

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