Statewide Unemployment Rate Declines in October

Statewide Unemployment Rate Declines in October

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has announced that the unemployment rate fell 3.6 percentage points to 6.8%.

Nonfarm payrolls were about unchanged, down 1,100 jobs in October, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES.

The September monthly decrease in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from 12,000 to 9,200 jobs. The September unemployment rate was revised upward from the preliminary report, from 10.2% to 10.4%.

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

The state’s unemployment rate was 0.1 percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate reported for October, which was 6.9%, down 1.0 percentage point from the previous month.

The Illinois unemployment rate was up 3.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.7%.

In October, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were Professional and Business Services (+13,800), Construction (+4,200) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+2,100).

The industry sectors that reported the largest payroll declines were Government (-13,500), Educational and Health Services (-6,500) and Information (-1,500).

“While the unemployment rate has steadily declined over the last several months, the governor’s office and IDES are working tirelessly to assist claimants while confronting the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes. “IDES is taking necessary steps to make claimants aware of the impending expiration to the federal CARES Act programs, set to end the week ending Dec. 26.”

“While we continue to see positive signs that employment is picking back up, we know that there is much more work ahead as we strive for a full recovery from the impact of COVID-19 on our Illinois workers and Illinois businesses,” said Erin Guthrie, director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Still Down Significantly From Last Year

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 411,800 jobs, with losses across all major industries.

The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were Leisure and Hospitality (-129,000), Professional and Business Services (-64,800) and Educational and Health Services (-59,600).

Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down 6.7% over-the-year as compared to the nation’s 6.1% over-the-year decline in October.

The number of unemployed workers declined sharply from the prior month, a 35.5% decrease to 425,900 but was up 80.3% over the same month for the prior year.

The labor force was down 1.7% over-the-month and down 3.1% 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 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 54,682 posted resumes with 93,659 available jobs.

About the Department of Employment Security

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, employers, and job seekers with resources including Job Fairs and Illinois Job Link, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program.

To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit

SOURCE: IDES news release