SPRINGFIELD — The unemployment rate in the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Service Area — which comprises Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties  dropped more than a percentage point from one year ago, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The MSA was 3.1 percent in November, down from 4.3 percent a year earlier.

In the Champaign-Urbana MSA, non-farm employment increased by 3,800 compared with November 2018. Employment gains over the year were posted in government (plus-1,600), leisure and hospitality (plus-1,300), professional and business services (plus-300), education and health services (plus-200), information (-plus200), mining and construction (plus-200), financial activities (-plus100), transportation, warehousing and utilities (plus-100) and retail trade (plus-100). Declines were reported in wholesale trade (minus-200) and manufacturing (minus-100).

The unemployment rate decreased in November in Ford and Iroquois counties when compared with year-ago levels.

The jobless rate in Ford County was 3.8 percent in November, down from 4.8 percent a year earlier, while Iroquois County’s rate was 3.6 percent, down from 4.4 percent.

The jobless rate fell in 13 Illinois metropolitan areas and increased in one. Illinois businesses added jobs in nine metro areas, with the largest percentage increases in: Champaign-Urbana (plus3.4 percent, plus-3,800), Carbondale-Marion (plus-2.5 percent, plus-1,500) Decatur (plus-1.5%, plus-800) and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights (plus-24,200 or plus-0.6 percent).

The number of nonfarm jobs increased in nine Illinois metropolitan areas, decreased in four and was unchanged in one. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Peoria (minus-1.7 percent, minus-3,100), Davenport-Moline-Rock Island IA-IL (minus-1.2 percent, minus-2,300) and Danville (minus-0.4percent, minus-100).

The industry sectors recording job growth in the majority of metro areas included government (11 of 14), mining and construction (nine of 14), transportation, warehousing and utilities (nine of 14), education and health services (nine of 14) and leisure and hospitality (eight of 14).

The non-seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in November 2019 and stood at 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in November 2019 and 10.6 percent in January 2010, at its peak.

The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.