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Chicago Metro Unemployment Rate Rises in October

November 28, 2012

This morning, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary October 2012 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.

  • In October, an estimated 422,923 people in the Chicago metro area were unemployed out of a labor force of approximately 4.910 million, resulting in a preliminary unemployment rate of 8.6% (seasonally adjusted). The October rate was up slightly from the prior month (8.5%), but down from October 2011 (10.1%).
  • Despite the higher unemployment rate, the Chicago MSA added an estimated 25,769 employed residents between September 2012 and October 2012, bringing total regional employment to approximately 4.487 million (seasonally adjusted); this marks the region’s highest employment total since November 2008, and represents a net gain of more than 120,000 employed residents since October 2011.
  • 281 of 380 U.S metros experienced a decrease in the unemployment rate from September to October, after seasonal adjustment; 38 metros (including Chicago) saw an over-the-month increase, and 61 experienced no change.

(The city of Chicago seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from last week's Economic Alert is included in the following chart for reference)

Note: Figures are seasonally adjusted. All are preliminary and subject to revision with the next BLS data release on 1/8/2013. The city of Chicago unemployment rate was seasonally adjusted by WBC staff using non-seasonally adjusted BLS estimates and the U.S. Census Bureau's X-13 ARIMA software.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (LAUS and CPS), Illinois Department of Employment Security

Seasonally adjusted estimates for all MSAs can be found on the BLS website.