The unemployment rate has increased in most of Illinois' metro areas when compared to December 2014, according to new numbers by the Department of Employment Security (IDES).
"Illinois took another hit on jobs and many metro areas continue to absorb these hits," said IDES Director Jeff Mays in the release announcing the new employment numbers. "Since the previous jobs peak in 2007, only three out of fourteen metro areas have regained the jobs lost during the recession."
The Lake County-Kenosha area lost the most jobs last month when compared to one year ago, with a reduction of 5,100 positions. In all, six of the state's 14 metro areas, including the Quad Cities, Decatur and Carbondale-Marion, saw a reduction in the number of jobs last month compared to December 2014.
Meanwhile, 11 of the state's metro areas saw an increase in their respective unemployment rates last month when compared to December 2014. The unemployment rates for the metro areas of Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island and the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis went unchanged from their December 2014 levels at 5.6 percent, 5.9 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
The Danville and Decatur areas saw the highest unemployment rates in December at 7.4 percent, followed by Rockford at 7.2 percent and Kankakee and Peoria at 7.0 percent. Bloomington, Springfield and Champaign-Urbana had the lowest unemployment rates at 5.4 percent.
Illinois continues to trail the nation in recovering from the Great Recession, with the state's unemployment rate being 5.9 percent compared to the U.S. rate of 4.8 percent. In 2014, the December unemployment rate in Illinois was slighty lower at 5.8 percent.