News and Announcements - February Jobs Increase +13,800 in Illinois...

News and Announcements : February Jobs Increase +13,800 in Illinois

February Jobs Increase +13,800 in Illinois

​Contact: Anjali Julka 312-793-9635 w​ |Feb2015_Statewide.pdfFeb2015_Statewide.pdf

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in February decreased 0.1 percentage points to 6.0 percent. The state’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national unemployment rate reported for February at 5.5 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment gained +13,800 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In February, several industry sectors posted gains in employment and the three largest were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+5,800); Professional and Business Services (+5,500); Leisure and Hospitality (+1,900); and Construction (+1,900). Three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment: Government (-1,600); Educational and Health Services (-1,400); and Manufacturing (-800). 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.

“Illinois saw some job growth in February and a further decline in unemployment, but it will take more than a year at the average growth rate to reach employment levels prior to the downturn,” said Director Jeff Mays. “Over the year, Illinois’ economy has grown at little more than half the rate of the national level.”

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +79,800 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+21,300); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+17,600); and Educational and Health Services (+14,500); and Construction (+13,100). Two key sectors posted over-the-year declines in February: Financial Activities (-800) and Manufacturing (-500). The weakness in manufacturing is mostly among durable goods manufacturers over the past 12 months, whereas nondurable goods manufacturing arose during this time frame.

In February, the unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point from January to 6.0 percent and stood 1.9 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 7.9 percent. The number of unemployed workers decreased by 1.8 percent from the prior month to 391,100 and is down -24.8 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“Illinois families continue to feel the effects of a business environment that for years has stunted growth and left our state with above average unemployment, and a job growth rate far below the national average,” said Jim Schultz, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “Governor Rauner is implementing a specific plan to increase business growth and create jobs.”

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 Also join IDES on Facebook.