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Jobs boom missing Rockford area

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Jobs boom missing Rockford area

SPRINGFIELD – The United States has been on a steady climb since the Great Recession wiped out careers and savings for millions – that progress still hasn’t really come to Rockford.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has added 15.8 million jobs since April 2010, the most recent comparable month, growing from 130.14 million jobs in April 2010 to a preliminary estimate of 146 million this April. That’s 12.2 percent more jobs since the economy bottomed out in 2010.

In Winnebago County, we were making similar progress, but that trend has reversed itself over the past several months. The Rockford area bottomed out earlier than the United States. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, employment hit the bottom of the Great Recession cycle in 2009 when just 124,425 were employed in April. By April 2016, that had grown to 132,027, an increase of 6.1 percent.

It appears we’ve lost those minimal gains. The state estimated that total employment for this April was 129,778, a 1.7 percent year-over-year decline.

It isn’t just Winnebago County that’s struggling to continue to grow jobs. Employment in the state as a whole was estimated to be 6.14 million, down 0.3 percent from 2016. It marked the fifth time in the past six months that employment in Illinois was down year over year.

Hopefully, the 2017 losses are temporary. Workers at the Fiat-Chrysler assembly plant in Belvidere have been laid off for several months as the plant is retooled to build the Jeep Cherokee. The vast majority of the workers in the Boone County plant live in Winnebago County.

Job gains – U.S., Illinois, Winnebago County

 

United States

Illinois

Winnebago County

Month, year

Emp.

Pct. ch.

Emp.

Pct. ch.

Emp.

Pct. ch.

April, 2007

137.9M

6.28M

139,623

April, 2008

138.1M

0.1%

6.31M

0.4%

138,216

-1.0%

April, 2009

131.8M

-4.5%

5.98M

-5.2%

124,425

-10.0%

April, 2010

130.1M

-1.2%

5.96M

-0.3%

128,886

3.6%

April, 2011

131.6M

1.2%

5.94M

-0.3%

130,610

1.3%

April, 2012

133.8M

1.7%

5.97M

0.5%

129,790

-0.6%

April, 2013

135.9M

1.5%

5.95M

-0.5%

127,767

-1.6%

April, 2014

138.3M

1.8%

6.03M

1.3%

129,637

1.5%

April, 2015

141.2M

2.1%

6.11M

1.4%

131,275

1.3%

April, 2016

143.8M

1.9%

6.16M

0.8%

132,027

0.6%

April, 2017

146.0M

1.5%

6.14M

-0.3%

129,778

-1.7%

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics for the United
States. Illinois Department of Employment Security
for Illinois and Winnebago County

 

 


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