Chicago Metro Unemployment Rate Increases to 6.6% in March


This morning, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary March 2016 unemployment rates for all Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the local workforce that reports itself as being out of work, information that the government collects by surveying households.

Illustrated in the map and chart below, in March, an estimated 331,246 people in the 14-county Chicago metropolitan statistical area (MSA) were unemployed out of a labor force of approximately 4.988 million, resulting in a preliminary unemployment rate of 6.6% (not seasonally adjusted).

  • Between March 2015 and March 2016, the Chicago MSA gained an estimated  99,439 employed residents, increasing total regional employment to approximately 4.656 million (not seasonally adjusted).
  • The March 2016 unemployment rate increased from March 2015 (6.0%).
  • Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 270 of 387 U.S. metros, 98 metros saw a year-over-year increase, and 19 experienced no change.

Metro Unemployment Mar2016

MetroChiUnemp 042716

Current and historic data reflects data revisions completed by the BLS on April 15, 2016. For more information about these revisions please visit the BLS website.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (LAUS and CPS)

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers

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