The Quad-Cities continues to have low unemployment compared to the rest of Illinois, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.|
The local jobless figure for November was 6.4 percent -- the second lowest of12 metroareas in Illinois -- and down from 7.4 percent a year ago. Bloomington-Normal has the lowest unemployment in the state, at 6.1 percent; Rockford has the highest, at 10.5 percent, and the state total for November was 8.2 percent. All metro areas but Decatur saw a lower jobless rate for the month compared to last year, IDES said.
"The trend of falling unemployment rates across Illinois shows that our economy continues to improve," IDES director Jay Rowell said in a news release. "The largest challenge to local economic growth is the fiscal cliff. Economic progress could slow at every level and we risk another recession if Congress does not work together to craft a solution."
The so-called "fiscal cliff" is the combination of deep federal spending cuts and tax increases due to take effect on Tuesday. The national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in November and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. Two years ago, the Q-C had a 7.9-percent jobless rate.
Industry sectors increasing in the most Illinois metro areas for November were leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing.
Thursday's report represents the 10th consecutive month that the Q-C unemployment rate has been below or equal to the level a year ago. Locally, government and manufacturing jobs recorded the largest gains, while professional and business services, construction, and retail trade posted the largest Q-C declines from November 2011.
Q-C area unemployment rates
Nov. 2012 Nov. 2011
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island metro area 6.4% 7.4%
Rock Island County 7.0% 8.1%
Henry County 6.5% 7.1%
Mercer County 6.4% 7.6%
Scott County 6.0% 6.8%
Whiteside County 8.6% 9.6%
Rock Island (city) 7.6% 8.8%
Moline (city) 6.6% 7.9%
Source: Illinois Department of Employment Security