PEORIA — Unemployment rates were down across each of the state's metropolitan areas compared with one year ago, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The Peoria area saw the second-largest year-over-year decline in unemployment rates between last August and this August, falling 1 percentage point to 5.3 percent. Only the Bloomington area — which fell 1.1 percentage points to 4.2 percent — saw a larger decline.
There were also 400 more jobs reported in the Peoria metropolitan area for this August compared with August 2016.
Overall, the state jobless rate fell to 5.2 percent in August, a 0.6 percentage point decline from the prior year.
"More areas showed job gains in August, but the pace of growth is not where we would like it to be," IDES director Jeff Mays said in a prepared news release. "While it is encouraging that unemployment rates declined from last year, most areas in Illinois are still higher than the national average."
The highest unemployment rate came in the Danville metropolitan area, which measured a 6.9 percent rate and fell from 7.4 percent in August 2016.
Rockford (5.7 percent), Decatur (5.9 percent) and the Chicagoland area (5.4 percent) all had unemployment levels higher than the Peoria area, which includes Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall and Stark counties.