Statewide Unemployment Drops to 11%, But 428,700 Non-Farm Jobs Lost Since Last Year

Statewide Unemployment Drops to 11%, But 428,700 Non-Farm Jobs Lost Since Last Year

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday (Sept. 17, 2020) that the unemployment rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 11.0%, while nonfarm payrolls added 66,000 jobs in August.

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

The state’s unemployment rate was 2.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 8.4 percent, down 1.8 percentage points from the previous month.

The Illinois unemployment rate was up 7.2 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.8%.

The number of unemployed workers declined from the prior month, a 2.9% decrease to 695,000 but was up 182.6% over the same month for the prior year.

The labor force was up 1.6 percent over-the-month and down 1.5% over-the-year. Confidence in the Illinois economy has grown in recent months. From January 2020 to April 2020, the Illinois labor force declined 4.6% (294,000 individuals) and, yet, from April 2020 to August 2020, the labor force has rebounded 3.6% (nearly 224,000 individuals).

In August, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (16,400), Government (15,900), and Professional and Business Services (9,900).

Only one industry sector reported a payroll decline: Information (1,400).

“As the unemployment rate steadily declines and confidence in the economy increases as more people return to the workforce, IDES remains committed to assisting those individuals still impacted by this pandemic and in need of unemployment services,” said Acting Director Kristin Richards. “In addition to providing unemployment benefits, the department is also prepared to assist individuals with job training and matching workers with hiring employers to help as many Illinoisans as possible return to work to provide for their families and basic needs.”

“While it’s encouraging to see a continued month over month decline in Illinois’ unemployment rate, there remains much to do to bring more Illinoisans safely back to work and to rebuild our economy,” said Erin Guthrie, director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “(State officials) continue to prioritize critical investments that support our hardest hit communities and small businesses, like our recent $220 million expansion of the Business Interruption Grants program.”

Year-Over-Year Data: 428,700 Jobs Lost

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 428,700 jobs, with losses across all major industries.

The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (143,700), Professional and Business Services (72,500) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (53,400).

Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down 7.0% over-the-year as compared to the nation’s 6.8 percent over-the-year decline in August.

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.

The BLS has published FAQs for the August payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

In May, the state launched Get Hired Illinois, a 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 75,453 posted resumes with 77,139 available jobs.

SOURCE: Illinois Department of Employment Security news release