CHICAGO – The August local unemployment rate fell in 11 metro areas compared to last year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

CHICAGO – The August local unemployment rate fell in 11 metro areas compared to last year, according to preliminary data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Not seasonally adjusted data compare August 2012 to August 2011. The largest declines: Rockford ( 2.1 points to 11.7 percent), Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (-1.7 points to 8.8 percent), Kankakee-Bradley (-1.0 point to 11.4 percent), and Peoria (-1.0 point to 8.0 percent). The state NSA rate has dropped every month this year.

Payrolls increased in seven metros, fell in three and were essentially unchanged in two.

Largest increases: Peoria (+2.3 percent, +4,200), Rockford (+2.1 percent, +3,000) and Bloomington-Normal (+1.7 percent, +1,500). Chicago-Joliet-Naperville added jobs (+1.0 percent, +35,000 jobs). Sectors increasing in the most metros: Manufacturing (11 of 12) and Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (nine of 12).

“This economic cycle is filled with small up-and-down movements in the monthly data, and August shows falling unemployment rates in nearly every corner of our state,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “While the uneven movements shadow the progress that we have made, stronger economic growth will occur when consumer confidence improves.”

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year.

The August 2012 not seasonally adjusted Illinois unemployment rate was 8.9 percent and 12.3 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in August and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to receiving benefits.