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Kankakee County Unemployment Drops to 5.8%, Job Growth Strongest in Illinois Again in April

KANKAKEE, IL – May 28, 2015 – The Kankakee-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which shares boundaries with Kankakee County, continued to experience the strongest job growth in the state of Illinois in April over the last year. According to preliminary data released May 28 by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Kankakee County added 1,200 jobs from April 2014 to April 2105, which translated to growth of 2.7%, the greatest increase among metros statewide.
In March, Kankakee County saw the addition of 1,000 jobs year or over, according to IDES and BLS reports.
Unemployment rate fell sharply in Kankakee County from April 2014 to April 2015, from 7.9% to 5.8%. This represents the lowest rate that the metro has experienced since May 2007. Neighboring Will and Grundy counties registered 6.1% and 6.5% unemployment rates in April, respectively.
The not seasonally adjusted rate for the state of Illinois was 5.5% in April. This was the 14th month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro are in the state compared to a year ago.
“The job growth trend that we’re seeing in Kankakee County continues to be quite encouraging,” remarked Alliance President/CEO Mike Van Mill. “Industry sees Kankakee County as a sound investment. The widespread expansion that is currently taking place across our industry sectors is translating to more than 3,000 posted openings for employment at all skill levels in our community.”
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 kankakeecountyed.org or phone 815.935.1177.