Illinois Unemployment Rate Stays at Historic Low in October — But Still Higher Than National Average

Illinois Unemployment Rate Stays at Historic Low in October — But Still Higher Than National Average

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced this week that nonfarm payrolls increased to a record high +1,900 jobs compared to last month, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at an historically low 3.9 percent in October.

The numbers are based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES.

The state’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national unemployment rate reported for October 2019, which was 3.6 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage points from a year ago.

Illinois payroll employment has shown variability since the beginning of the year, as have national payrolls. Average payroll employment in Illinois during the August to October three-month period, which provides a more stable measure of payroll employment change, was up +1,500 jobs compared to the July-September three-month period. The largest average gains were found in Government (+2,300), Other Services (+600), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+500).

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 57,000 jobs with the largest gains in: Leisure and Hospitality (+17,500), Educational and Health Services (+15,500), and Government (+11,700).

The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines were: Information (-3,400), Manufacturing (-1,900), and Construction (-1,600). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up 0.9 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s 1.4 percent over-the-year gain in October.

The number of unemployed workers decreased from the prior month, down 1.9 percent to 251,000, a new record low. The labor force was nearly unchanged over-the-month but up 0.6 percentage points over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.

An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. IDES maintains the state’s largest job search engine,, to help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, which recently showed 60,796 posted resumes with 101,271 jobs available.

SOURCE: IDES news release