With all the challenges facing Rockford, and the State of Illinois, it's nice to see some numbers that are more than worth mentioning--and Rockford's got some good numbers.

According to a new report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Unemployment rates decreased over-the-year in March in all of Illinois’s metropolitan areas, and non-farm jobs increased in ten of the metropolitan areas, including Rockford.

From the IDES website:

“We continue to see declining unemployment rates in all areas,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “In fact, the March unemployment rate was down in all but one of Illinois’ 102 counties.”

To add more good news to the BLS and IDES report, Illinois businesses added jobs in ten metro areas, with the largest increases in: Rockford (+4.5 percent, +6,400).

Other areas in Illinois that showed definite improvement include Kankakee (+3.7 percent, +1,700), and Lake (+2.4 percent, +9,700).

On the other hand, Illinois businesses lost jobs in three metro areas: Springfield (-3.0 percent, -3,400), Carbondale-Marion (-2.4 percent, -1,400), and Danville (- 1.1 percent, -300).

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included Manufacturing (9 of 14), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (9 of 14), Professional and Business Services, (8 of 14), Leisure and Hospitality (8 of 14), and Government (8 of 14).

As a life-long Illinoisan, it's nice to see some of these numbers working themselves in the right direction.