Illinois Unemployment Rate Still at 7% -- Down 0.1% in August

Illinois Unemployment Rate Still at 7% — Down 0.1% in August

The state’s economic recovery is moving more slowly than many government officials, business owners, job seekers and consumers would like.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 7.0%, while nonfarm payrolls were mostly unchanged, increasing by 2,500 in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES.

The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +35,400 to +38,100 jobs. The July unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 7.1 percent.

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

In August, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+5,800), Manufacturing (+3,900), and Government (+1,900).

The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: Educational and Health Services (-4,900), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-2,300), and Other Services (-1,300).

“The decreasing unemployment rate and continued job stabilization is encouraging in today’s report, especially as the state continues to monitor the increase of Covid-19 cases and the impact it may have on our communities, said Deputy Gov. Andy Manar. “IDES continues to assist those looking to return to the workforce, matching employers with jobseekers and providing other reemployment services and training to those seeking assistance.”

“While today’s report demonstrates an ongoing, positive trend, too many Illinoisans continue to endure challenging economic times,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“That’s why we are redoubling our commitment to small business recovery, capital and workforce training assistance programs that will help our hardest hit communities and businesses get back on track. Together, these efforts will support our continued recovery, return more Illinoisans to work, and give our economy the boost it needs.”

The state’s unemployment rate was 1.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 5.2%. down 0.2 percentage point from the previous month.

The Illinois unemployment rate was down 4.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 11.1%.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +163,700 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+59,100), Professional and Business Services (+45,300), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+24,200).

The industry groups that reported  jobs losses were Financial Activities (-4,900) and Government (-1,700). In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up 2.9% over-the-year in Illinois and 4.3% the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a 0.4% decrease to 435,900, and was down 37.3% over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up 0.2% over-the-month and was down 0.6% 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.

Get Hired Illinois is 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 (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 55,919 posted resumes with 144,405 available jobs.

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release