The Chicago MSA has lost jobs for eight straight months, erasing all job gains since January 2010. The unemployment rate, at 10.4, is higher than it has been since April 2010. It is 1.3 percentage points higher than the U.S. unemployment rate. The size of the Chicago MSA labor force, which is the number of people working or actively looking for work in the region, has declined slightly.
Both the Chicago MSA and Illinois as a whole have experienced increases in the unemployment rate and losses in jobs at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate has remained roughly steady.
Together, these metrics portend ill for the local economy, including the housing market. Though sales in the city of Chicago increased sharply last quarter, a sustained increase in sales is unlikely as long as unemployment remains high.
- The number of jobs in the Chicago MSA peaked in January 2008 at 3.9 million. It stands at 3,654,600 today, or about 7 percent off the peak.
- After hitting bottom in November 2009, the number of jobs increased to 3,729,300 in December 2010. In eight months since, the number of jobs has fallen by approximately 0.8%
The charts in this post are included in each issue of Chicago Housing Quarterly. See here for a free subscription and the latest edition.