The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in May in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas, with six metro areas at record low payrolls, according to preliminary data released June 25 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Data also shows that the unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas to record highs for the month of May. The official, BLS-approved sub-state unemployment rate and nonfarm jobs series begins in 1990. Data reported prior to 1990 are not directly comparable due to updates in methodology.

Piatt County's jobless rate stood at 8.4 percent in May of 2020, a 5.5 percent increase over the same month a year earlier. It is the the second lowest rate in East Central Illinois, to Moultrie, which was at 7.2 percent in May.

“Illinois’ transition into Phase 4 of the Reopen Illinois Plan is another positive step toward the recovery of our state and local economies,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “We will continue to closely monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and make necessary adjustments to ensure the health and safety of our citizens while continuing to provide families and small businesses the resources they need for recovery.”

Data shows the number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Peoria (-16.7%, -28,800), Decatur (-14.7%, -7,600) and Elgin (-14.5%, -38,500). Jobs were down -12.0% (-455,200) in Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights. Job losses occurred across all industries and there were no industry sectors that recorded job growth in a majority of metro areas.

Not seasonally adjusted data compares May 2020 with May 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 14.7 percent in May 2020, a record high for the month of May, dating back to 1976. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.0 percent in May 2020, also a record high, dating back to 1948. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.

Area counties

May unemployment for counties in East Central Illinois versus their rate in May of 2019.

• Champaign, 10.1 percent, up from 3.2 percent.

• Coles, 11.0, up from 3.5

• DeWitt, 9.6, up from 3.5.

• Douglas, 8.9, up from 2.9.

• Edgar, 13.3, up from 3.2.

• Ford, 10.9, up from 3.3.

• Iroquois, 8.5, up from 3.3.

• McLean, 11.0, up from 3.1.

• Moultrie, 7.2, up from 2.9.

• Piatt, 8.4, up from 2.9.

Among the 14 metropolitan areas in Illinois, Champaign-Urbana had the lowest jobless rate at 10 percent, with Bloomington the second lowest at 10.9 percent. The highest was the Chicago area at 15.4 percent.