Unemployment Rate

Unemployment inches higher in Chicago metro area

Unemployment inches higher in Chicago metro area

The Chicago metro area's unemployment rate inched up in April to 6.5 percent, marking the fifth consecutive month of increases, but the trend could point to the improving health of the local economy as the labor force grows to a historic high.

While the national unemployment rate clocked in at 5 percent in April, steady from the prior month, the 6.5 percent unemployment rate for the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metropolitan area was up from 6.3 percent in March and has been static or growing since August 2015, when it hit a post-recession low of 5.6 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

But the area's...