According to a recent release made by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), significant progress has been made in the state of Illinois to increase its number of jobs and decrease its unemployment numbers. Rockford, listed as one of the 14 major metropolitan areas, saw significant unemployment decline, and touts the highest unemployment decrease in the state of Illinois from 7.7% (2021) to 5.9% (2022) for a total decrease of -1.8%.
IDES reports the last time this rate was equal to or lower was in 2019 when it was 4.8 percent. Total employment (non-farming jobs) increased by +6,100 jobs over the last year in Winnebago County. Frank Rotello, CEO, Alpha Controls & Services LLC and Past Board Chair stated, “Trends are moving in the right direction. Our goal is to get back to 2018 peak employment levels which were 13,000 higher from where we are today.”
The Workforce Connection, in collaboration with multiple community partners, has been diligently working to assist employers and employees alike to solve the workforce needs of the region. “We are proud that our community is leading the state of Illinois in decreasing our unemployment rates year to year. The Workforce Connection will remain focused on our mission and vision of providing a workforce that meets the needs of business and industry now and into the future.” explained Gina Caronna, Executive Director, The Workforce Connection.
About The Workforce Connection
The Workforce Connection (TWC) Board is one of 22 local workforce boards established by the Governor of the State of Illinois pursuant to the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Utilizing Federal, State, and donated funds, TWC provides a system for individuals to get employed and works with employers to find skilled workers and access other services, including education and training for their current workforce in Boone, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. TWC is committed to providing a workforce that meets the needs of the business community.
Einar Forsman, CEO of the Greater Rockford Growth Partnership, of which the Chamber is a partner, sits on The Workforce Connection board. We are proud to be involved in this work.