QC Unemployment Improving Slowly

Jul 23, 2020

Despite continuing at historically high levels, unemployment did show some improvement in the Quad Cities in June. The unemployment rate jumped from 3.9 per cent a year ago, to 11.1 per cent last month. 

Tom Austin, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says it was the highest June unemployment rate ever in the Quad Cities, with jobs lost in every major category, especially in leisure and hospitality.

"When we're looking at leisure and hospitality, that industry involves activities where people are mingling with each other, such as sports and gaming activities. It also includes the restaurant industry. We've seen some restaurants that are starting to open expanding to outdoor activities so that has increased some employment when we look at that industry."

And while the year to year figures look bad, the jobless rate here has been falling - from a high of 15.2 per cent in April, to 14.1 per cent in May, to the June rate of 11.1 per cent. 

Unemployment rose in all 14 metro areas in Illinois last month with the biggest increases in the Chicago area and Rockford. The rate for Illinois in June was 14.6 per cent, compared with eight per cent for the state of Iowa.