This morning, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary December 2014 unemployment rates for all Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). The unemployment rate measures the percentage of the local workforce that reports itself as being out of work, information that the government collects by surveying households.
Illustrated in the map and chart below, in December, an estimated 272,938 people in the 14-county Chicago metropolitan statistical area (MSA) were unemployed out of a labor force of approximately 4.883 million, resulting in a preliminary unemployment rate of 5.6% (not seasonally adjusted).

  • The December unemployment rate was substantially lower than the same month in 2013 (8.3%).
  • Between December 2013 and December 2014, the Chicago MSA gained an estimated 140,053 employed residents, increasing total regional employment to approximately 4.610 million (not seasonally adjusted).
  • Unemployment rates were lower in December than a year earlier in 341 of the 372 U.S. metros, 25 metros saw a year-over-year increase, and 6 experienced no change.

Note: Figures are not seasonally adjusted. BLS is currently updating their methodology for seasonal adjustment, therefore not seasonally adjusted data will be used until seasonally adjusted data is available again. Because the data is not seasonally adjusted it can only be compared year-over-year. All data is preliminary and subject to revision with the next BLS data release on 3/20/2015.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (LAUS and CPS)

Not seasonally adjusted estimates for all MSAs can be found on the BLS website.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers 

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