This morning, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released preliminary October 2016 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 October, an estimated 272,338 people in the 14-county Chicago metropolitan statistical area (MSA) were unemployed out of a labor force of approximately 4.930 million, resulting in a preliminary unemployment rate of 5.5% (not seasonally adjusted).

  • Between October 2015 and October 2016, the Chicago MSA gained an estimated 29,464 employed residents, increasing total regional employment to approximately 4.658 million (not seasonally adjusted).
  • The Chicago MSA posted a preliminary unemployment rate of 5.5% in October 2016 before seasonal adjustment – this is a slight increase from the October 2015 unemployment rate of 5.3%.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in October than a year earlier in 231 of 387 U.S. metros, 127 metros saw a year-over-year increase, and 26 experienced no change.

Metro Unemployment October2016

MetroChiUnemp 113016

Current and historic data reflects data revisions completed by the BLS on April 15, 2016. For more information about these revisions please visit the BLS website.

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

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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