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SPRINGFIELD – The unemployment rate decreased in October in Ford and Iroquois counties when compared with year-ago levels.

Ford County’s jobless rate was 3.7 percent in October, down from 4.6 a year earlier, while Iroquois County’s rate stood at 3.6 percent, down from 4.3 percent in October 2018.

Meanwhile, the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Service Area — which comprises Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties — had an unemployment rate of 3.5 percent in October, down from 4.5 percent a year earlier.

In the Champaign-Urbana MSA, non-farm employment increased by 3,200 jobs compared with last October. Employment gains over the year were posted in leisure and hospitality (+1,200), government (+1,000), education and health services (+300), information (+300), professional and business services (+200), financial activities (+200), mining and construction (+200) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (+100). Declines were reported in wholesale trade (-200) and manufacturing (-100).

The jobless rates in all 14 Illinois metropolitan areas fell in October from year-ago levels, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois Department of Employment Security. Also, the number of nonfarm jobs increased in 11 Illinois metropolitan areas, decreased in just two and was unchanged in one.

“Communities in every corner of the state have experienced sustained job growth throughout this year. By passing the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan and legislation like the minimum-wage increase, Gov. (J.B.) Pritzker is ensuring the state’s economy continues to thrive,” Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes said in a news release.

Illinois businesses added jobs in 11 metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in: Champaign-Urbana (+2.8%, +3,200), Carbondale-Marion (+2.5%, +1,500), Kankakee (+1.5%, +700) and Lake-Kenosha (+1.5%, +6,400).

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included transportation, warehousing and utilities (nine of 14), education and health services (nine of 14), government (nine of 14), and leisure and hospitality (eight of 14).

The non-seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 3.6 percent in October 2019 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

Nationally, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in October 2019 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak.

The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.