Unemployment in the Quad Cities is higher than a year ago, but quite a bit lower since the pandemic began. In January, the jobless rate was 6.8 per cent compared to 4.6 per cent in January of last year.
Tom Austin from the Illinois Department of Employment Security says during the past year, this area has lost more than 11,000 jobs - in education and health, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and government.
"The pandemic has an effect, not only on our labor force but our employment by industry but we are seeing improvements. It's just slow - some of these industries aren't returning as quickly because of issues that people aren't necessarily going to restaurants yet, the state isn't completely open yet."
Unemployment peaked in the Quad Cities last March at 15 per cent, then has gradually fallen - to 11 per cent in June, 8 per cent in August, 7 per cent in September, and 5 per cent in December.
Unemployment rose in all 14 metro areas in Illinois during January, between 3 and 5 percentage points. The highest rates were is Rockford with 11 per cent, followed by Decatur at 10. The lowest rates are in Bloomington and Champaign at 6.3 per cent.