With unemployment down again last month, the Quad-City metro area has seen consecutive decreases in its monthly unemployment rate for nearly two years.
The Quad-City metro's unemployment rate dropped again last month to 3.7 percent — the lowest rate since 2000 — the Illinois Department of Employment Security, or IDES, reported Thursday. The September rate dropped 0.4 percent from 4.1 percent in September 2017.
The Quad-Cities' unemployment rate in August was 3.9 percent, according to IDES.
Tom Austin, a labor analyst with IDES, said the Quad-City area has consecutively posted over-the-year decreases in its monthly unemployment since October 2016.
The Quad-City metro, which includes the bi-state region, was one of 12 of Illinois' metropolitan areas that posted lower over-the-year unemployment last month. Statewide, Illinois' unemployment rate was 3.8 percent last month, down from 4.6 percent this time last year.
"The unemployment rate continues to decline in most metros," IDES Director Jeff Mays said in the report. "At the same time, Illinois also saw its lowest number of unemployment claims filed in the month of September in 45 years."
IDES reported around 7,200 people were unemployed in the Quad-Cities last month. The region added 2,300 non-farm jobs, a 1.2 percent increase over last year.
The greatest job gains were in the leisure-hospitality sector, which added more than 1,000 jobs, and employed 19,900 people. The manufacturing industry employed 23,900 people last month, adding 800 jobs.
Professional-business services added 700 jobs, bringing employment up to 26,700 across the Quad-Cities.
The educational-health services sector lost the highest number of jobs, employing 26,700 people, a drop of 500 jobs compared to last year.
Around 200 jobs were lost in the retail trade industry, which employed around 21,900 people last month.
The last time the Quad-City metro's September unemployment rate was equal to or lower the current rate was 18 years ago, according to the IDES, when it was 3.4 percent.
September jobless rates for the Quad-City region were:
• Scott County: 2.6 percent, down from 3.4 percent in September 2017.
• Rock Island County: 4.8 percent, no change from 4.8 percent last year.
• Henry County: 4.4 percent, down from 4.5 percent.
• Mercer County: 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent.
• Whiteside County: 4 percent, down from 4.3 percent.
• Rock Island city: 3.8 percent, no change from 3.8 percent last September.
• Moline city: 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent in September 2017.