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Monday, April 27, 2015
Kankakee County Unemployment Lowest Since ‘07, Job Growth Strongest in Illinois
KANKAKEE, IL – April 27, 2015 – The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shares boundaries with Kankakee County, experienced the strongest job growth in the state of Illinois over the last year. According to preliminary data released April 23 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kankakee County added 1,000 jobs from March 2014 to March 2105, which translated to growth of 2.3%, the greatest increase among metros statewide.
Unemployment rate fell sharply in Kankakee County in the same time period, from 9.7% to 6.9%. This represents the lowest rate that the metro has experienced since November 2007. Neighboring Will and Grundy counties registered 6.8% and 8.1% unemployment rates in March, respectively.
The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state of Illinois was 6.3% in March. This was the thirteenth month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state compared to a year ago.
"Unemployment is a key barometer of economic health that our office tracks," remarked Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. "There are many variables that affect joblessness, certainly, however we're always encouraged when we see positive employment trends and signs of growth."
The Kankakee-Bradley MSA is currently ranked the #1 Small Metro in Illinois by global economic think tank the Milken Institute in its Best-Performing Cities index, which measures economic vitality vis-à-vis growth in jobs, wages, salaries and technology output. The county is also currently ranked ninth nationally among small metros for cost of doing business by Forbes.
The Economic Alliance of Kankakee County is a public-private partnership that works to create jobs and expand the economic base by improving the local business climate. Working under Kankakee County's 2014-19 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Alliance is challenged to help spur $500 million in new business investment and 500 new jobs, along with assisting 150 prospective new businesses. For more information, visit or phone 815.935.1177.