This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary May 2012 unemployment figures for the 50 states (and Washington, DC), as well as 4 Census Regions and 9 Census Divisions. Unemployment rates in Illinois and the Chicago metro division both decreased from last month, while the Midwest held at 7.2%, the lowest rate among the major Census regions for the sixth consecutive month.
There were an estimated 347,300 unemployed residents of a labor force of 4.09 million in the 8-county Chicago Metro Division, for a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 8.5% – substantially lower than the rate of 9.8% one year ago and down from 8.6% in April 2012 – marking the eighth consecutive month-over-month rate decline.
The following chart summarizes the trend in monthly unemployment rates for Illinois, the Midwest Region, and the East North Central and Chicago metropolitan divisions, while the map illustrates the geographic range and concentration of state unemployment rates. (Note: all figures cited below are seasonally adjusted. Information reflects model re-estimation and new seasonal adjustment. May 2012 values for Illinois and the Chicago metropolitan division are preliminary).
Monthly Unemployment Rate
Seasonally Adjusted, May 2011 - May 2012(p)
Unemployment Rates by State, May 2012(p)
U.S. Rate = 8.2 percent
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division
(includes 8 IL counties: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, Will; excludes Lake County)
- The decrease in the number of unemployed from 351,243 in April to 347,333 in May, coupled with a larger labor force, resulted in a preliminary unemployment rate of 8.5% (lower than the May 2011 rate of 9.8% and the April 2012 rate of 8.6%).
- The number of unemployed decreased by 6,929 from 571,346 in April to a preliminary figure of 564,417 in May, resulting in an unemployment rate of 8.6% – lower than the prior year’s (9.7%) and prior month’s (8.7%) rates.
East North Central Division
(includes 5 states: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)
- A slight decrease in the number of unemployed (-1,353), coupled with an increase in the labor force (+9,874), resulted in an unchanged unemployment rate of 7.9% from April to May.
(includes 12 states: IL, IN, MI, OH, WI, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD)
- The unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.2% from April to May – the South and Northeast regions were also unchanged, while the West decreased slightly.
- Lower rate than the West (9.4%), South (7.7%), and Northeast (7.9%)
The full press release can be found on the BLS website.