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Illinois Adds 13,800 Jobs in September and Rate Falls to 8.8 Percent


Statewide Employment Report September 2012 (pdf)

Rate Drops for 10th time in 13 Months

CHICAGO - Illinois added +13,800 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell for the 10th time in the past 13 months to reach 8.8 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted.

"Today's news is encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "What we don't know is how federal decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will impact Illinois' economy."

Illinois added +157,200 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+83,100); Manufacturing (+41,200); and Educational and Health Services (+38,400). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -27,300.

September 2012 job gains were driven by Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality sectors. Although manufacturing declined by -2,600 in September, its growth rate continues to outpace gains in previous years. From January through September of this year, manufacturing has added +17,900 jobs, twice as strong as 2010 and almost three times as strong as 2011 for the same nine-month period.

In September 2012, the number of unemployed individuals fell -11,000 (-1.9 percent) to 582,600, the 10th monthly decline in 13 months. Total unemployed declined -170,200 (-22.6 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The rate was 10.1 percent one year ago.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

There are 120,000 help-wanted ads on, the IDES employment website that links job seekers with employers. This no-cost, career resource allows individuals to create multiple resumes that emphasize different talents and allows businesses to search for specific skills. The keyword matching technology increases the likelihood of a successful new hire. Illinois JobLink emphasizes Illinois jobs, scrapes other commercial job boards, and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars for a single advertisement.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates 

August 2012 September
Moving Avg.
Illinois 8.8% 9.1% 10.1%* 8.9%
U.S. 7.8% 8.1% 9.0%* 8.1%
* Revised

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-farm Jobs - by Major Industry

Industry Title September 2012* August 2012** September 2011** Over the Month Change Over the Year Change 3-Month Moving Avg. Change from Previous 3-Month Mov. Avg.
Total Nonfarm 5,711,500 5,697,700 5,659,000 13,800 52,500 5,699,400 5,900
Mining 9,700 9,800 9,600 -100 100 9,800 0
Construction 184,200 183,900 192,600 300 -8,400 184,400 -100
Manufacturing 594,800 597,400 573,800 -2,600 21,000 596,700 -500
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities 1,134,600 1,137,300 1,139,900 -2,700 -5,300 1,136,600 400
Information 97,400 99,500 99,000 -2,100 -1,600 99,100 -600
Financial Activities 366,900 365,800 361,400 1,100 5,500 365,700 1,000
Professional and Business Services 862,900 855,100 831,500 7,800 31,400 857,700 3,300
Educational and Health Services 860,000 858,700 853,500 1,300 6,500 857,600 2,500
Leisure and Hospitality 533,700 530,300 516,800 3,400 16,900 530,300 800
Other Services 239,100 238,600 247,100 500 -8,000 238,200 -800
Government 828,200 821,300 833,800 6,900 -5,600 823,400 0
* Preliminary ** Revised


  • Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2007-2011 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.
  • Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available. Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail are available (link).
  • "Other Services" includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available here.