News and Announcements - Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percent...

News and Announcements : Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percent

Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.1 Percent

For Immediate Release | Anjali Julka, Media contact: (312) 793-9635 (Jan2015_Statewide.pdfJan2015_Statewide.pdf​)

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in January decreased 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent.  The state’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January at 5.7 percent.  Nonfarm payroll employment, however, shed -7,100 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.  A person who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits will still be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

In January, three industry sectors posted large gains in employment: Leisure and Hospitality (+3,300); Educational and Health Services (+2,300); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+1,600).  Four industry sectors reported large declines in employment: Professional and Business Services (-5,500); Government (-2,700); Construction (-2,500); and Manufacturing (-2,100).

“While a month-to-month decrease in nonfarm payrolls is not unusual, it’s clear Illinois has more work to do to catch up with other states,” said Director Jeffrey Mays.  “Our economy is simply not yet firing on all cylinders.”

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +65,000 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+16,700); Educational and Health Services (+15,200); and Construction (+11,100).  One sector posted a decline in January over the prior year: Financial Activities (-1,400).

In January, the unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point from December to 6.1 percent and stood 2.1 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 8.2 percent.  The number of unemployed workers decreased by 0.8 percent from the prior month to 398,500 and is down -25.5 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“Growth in business and economic activity is critical to adding jobs throughout the State,” said Jim Schultz, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  “As Governor Rauner has clearly and repeatedly emphasized, this Administration is determined to increase growth in business activity to create job opportunities, remedy the State’s severe fiscal problems and improve the lives of Illinoisans.”

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates


Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry




·        Monthly 1976-2014 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised using new, fourth generation state time-series models, as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  Additionally, as is the case each February, the monthly historical revisions to state labor force estimates reflect new national benchmark controls, state working-age population controls, seasonal factors, as well as updated total nonfarm jobs and unemployment benefits claims inputs.  Illinois labor force data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly Census Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking.  For these reasons, Comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous state news releases/materials might no longer be valid.

·        Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available at: 

·        Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at  “Other Services” include activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.  Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.


About IDES

IDES connects employers to job-seekers, helps unemployed individuals find work, provides unemployment insurance to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud.  One of its programs, is the state’s job-board featuring Resume Builder and Resunate.  Resume Builder helps individuals create effective resumes which are immediately matched to existing job postings by employers seeking those skills.  Resunate is a tool that helps optimize resumes, provides candidates with job postings that interest them, and links information by skillset that employers are looking for, and job seekers may possess.  Resunate is free if the job seeker connects directly from, regardless of employment status or eligibility for unemployment insurance.  Log on to for more information or visit the Department’s website at www.ides.illinois.govAlso join IDES on Facebook (