Local unemployment drops below 6%

Local unemployment drops below 6%

DECATUR—Decatur’s unemployment rate has crept under the 6% mark for the first time in nearly a decade.


According to the latest figures by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, Decatur had an unemployment rate of 5.9% last month, down from 7% a month ago and 8.3% last year at this time.


Decatur’s numbers reflect an overall drop in unemployment statewide for the month of April. April marked the 14th consecutive month that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state compared to a year ago.


Bloomington again led the state with the lowest unemployment rate at 3.9%, down from 4.9% during April 2014. Champaign Urbana at 4.1%, Elgin at 4.8%, Lake-Kenosha at 4.6%, and Springfield at 4.3% all recorded unemployment rates under 5%.


The unemployment rate for the state in April was 5.5%, just a little higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.1%.


The number of job availabilities, however, declined in April when compared to a year ago in the Decatur metro area. The total number of non farm jobs in Decatur declined by 800, to 50,100.