Statewide Unemployment Drops to 11.3%, Payrolls Increase in July

Statewide Unemployment Drops to 11.3%, Payrolls Increase in July

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced today (Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020)  that the unemployment rate fell 3.2 percentage points to 11.3%, while nonfarm payrolls added 93,200 jobs in July, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES.

The July payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the July payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

The state’s unemployment rate was 1.1 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for July, which was 10.2%, down 0.9 percentage points from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up 7.4 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.9%.

In July, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+65,300), Education and Health Services (+14,100) and Professional and Business Services (+8,400). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Manufacturing (-4,600), Construction (-3,300) and Information (-1,200).

“While we’re happy to see the unemployment rate and payrolls moving in the right direction, IDES remains committed to serving our claimants’ needs during this continued unprecedented time,” said Acting Director Kristin Richards. “As we move through this period of uncertainty, the Department is working as vigilantly as possible to rise to the challenge and provide benefits and employment services to those who need them.”

Michael Negron, acting director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said that the pandemic is continuing to have an unprecedented effect on the  economy.

“Evidence from other states has shown that ensuring public health is the quickest way to an economic recovery,” he said. “With that in mind, DCEO remains committed to investments that will support Illinois businesses and residents facing the most acute effects of this crisis, while making continued progress under Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan to safely reopen our state economy.”

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 508,000 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (164,000), Professional and Business Services (81,300) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (62,900). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down 8.3% over-the-year as compared to the nation’s 7.5% over-the-year decline in July.

The number of unemployed workers fell sharply from the prior month, a 25.2% decrease to 705,600 but was up 179.8% over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was down 3.9% over-the-month and 3.2% 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.

In May, the sate launched Get Hired Illinois, a new one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time.

The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes Illinois Job Link, the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 83,747 posted resumes with 71,998 available jobs.

SOURCE: IDES news release