Despite the unemployment rate increasing in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division in February 2013, there are signs of growth in some job sectors. Which categories are adding jobs right now? We examined local and federal jobs reports to get the scoop on the top three categories seeing growth in Chicagoland.

Professional and business services

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division has seen an uptick in jobs in the professional and business services sector. In February 2013, the sector had a national job growth rate of 3.8 percent from its level one year ago. Careers in the professional and business services sector include legal services, accounting, tax preparation, advertising, architectural services and engineering services.

Education and health services

The BLS report for the Chicago metropolitan division also stated education and health services jobs in the area posted gains of 1.8 percent in jobs from February 2012. Careers in the education sector include teachers and instructors at schools and universities. Careers in the health services sector include nurses, doctors, dentists and other professionals who provide medical care.

Hospitality and leisure jobs

Leisure and hospitality jobs also saw an increase, with a growth of 1.8 percent from February 2012 reported by the BLS. Careers in the leisure category include those associated with museums, historical sites, amusement parks and gambling, while careers in the hospitality field include those associated with hotels, restaurants and bars.

The numbers cited in the BLS report are not seasonally adjusted. In addition, the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties.

According to a report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the unemployment rate in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville metropolitan division was 10.3 percent in February 2013, representing an increase from the unemployment rate of 9.9 percent from January 2013, and an increase from the unemployment rate of 9.1 percent in February 2012. The unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. Nationwide, the BLS reported unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in February 2013.

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at

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