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Chicago Unemployment Rate at 10.2%

August 4, 2011

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary June 2011 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 June, an estimated 499,000 people in the Chicago metro area were unemployed out of a labor force of 4.91 million (compared to 4.83 million in May), resulting in a preliminary unemployment rate of 10.2% (not seasonally adjusted). This is a slight decrease from 10.6% one year prior.
•    Nonfarm employment, a separate measure based on data collected directly from employers about the number of jobs they are responsible for, suggests the Chicago MSA gained 18,200 nonfarm jobs between May and June 2011, bringing total nonfarm employment to 4.32 million.
•    All 15 of the large metros illustrated in the chart below, including Chicago, experienced an increase in unemployment rates from May to June before seasonal adjustment:

The following summary points refer to preliminary June 2011 unemployment rates in MSAs:
•    Among 49 MSAs with a population in 2000 of at least 1 million, 30 exhibited unemployment rates equal to, or less than, the US rate of 9.3% (19 large MSAs, including Chicago, experienced rates above the US rate).
•    The lowest unemployment rates among the 49 MSAs mentioned above were in Oklahoma City (5.7%) and Washington, D.C. (6.2%)
•    The highest rates among the 49 MSAs mentioned above were in Riverside, CA (14.2%) and Las Vegas (13.8%)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Note: Preliminary figures are not seasonally adjusted and are subject to revision with the next BLS data release on 08/31/11

The full press release and data for all MSAs can be found on the BLS website.