As the new year started, unemployment fell in the Quad Cities - to 6.3 per cent in January, from 6.7 per cent in the same month a year ago.
Tom Austin, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, says this area lost jobs in manufacturing and construction in January, but gained some in professional and business services, education and health, and financial activities.
"The unemployment rate fell over the year but that again was due in part to what we've been seeing in the area - a decline in the overall labor force. So the effects of the declines in the manufacturing sector are still having some impact then on our labor force data, with the declines in the number of people employed."
The January unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent means about 12,000 people in the Quad Cities were out of work and looking for jobs. It's the lowest January rate since 2008 when it was 5.2 per cent.
Unemployment rose in most of Illinois during the month, usually by a few tenths of a per cent, except in Rockford where the rate jumped more than 3 percentage points to 11 per cent.