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December Unemployment Unchanged at 8.7 Percent


For Immediate Release | Greg Rivara, Media contact: 312-814-0095 (pdf version)

Private Sector Job Growth Up 167,000 During the Recovery

CHICAGO - The December 2012 unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.7 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. One year ago, the December rate was 9.7 percent. Total payrolls decreased -7,600 in December 2012, nearly one-third of which were temporary layoffs with return-to-work dates in January, 2013.

"Illinois' long-term trend is that of moderate growth punctuated by monthly up-and-down movement in the unemployment rate and the number of people working," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "This positive trend still is threatened by Congress and its continuing deliberations on the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff."

Illinois added +167,000 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+79,500); Education and Health Services (+43,600); and Manufacturing (+39,800). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -30,700.

In December 2012, the number of unemployed individuals increased +1,700 (+0.3 percent) to 576,600. Total unemployed declined -176,200 (-23.4 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent.

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.

More than 100,000 help-wanted ads are 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. emphasizes Illinois jobs, scrapes other job boards, and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars for a single advertisement. No-cost HR recruitment services are available there and at (877) 342-7533.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Moving Avg.
Illinois 8.7% 8.7% 9.7%* 8.7%
U.S. 7.8% 7.8%* 8.5%* 7.8%
* Revised

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-farm Jobs - by Major Industry

Industry Title December
Over the Month Change Over the Year
Moving Avg.
Change from
Mov. Avg.
Total Nonfarm 5,717,900 5,725,500 5,676,000 -7,600 41,900 5,718,100 3,300
Mining 9,700 9,600 9,700 100 0 9,600 0
Construction 182,700 179,800 191,300 2,900 -8,600 182,500 -500
Manufacturing 593,400 598,700 576,900 -5,300 16,500 596,200 -900
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities 1,145,900 1,145,100 1,142,200 800 3,700 1,141,400 4,200
Information 97,900 96,800 99,800 1,100 -1,900 97,200 200
Financial Activities 366,200 366,600 360,500 -400 5,700 366,500 -200
Professional and Business Services 859,300 863,500 838,500 -4,200 20,800 860,000 0
Educational and Health Services 865,200 866,300 857,100 -1,100 8,100 865,000 1,400
Leisure and Hospitality 534,800 534,200 519,800 600 15,000 535,100 500
Other Services 238,000 238,200 247,500 -200 -9,500 238,100 -100
Government 824,800 826,700 832,700 -1,900 -7,900 826,600 -1,100
*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. Seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail are available.
  • "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.