News and Announcements - March Jobs Decline -1,800 in Illinois

News and Announcements : March Jobs Decline -1,800 in Illinois

March Jobs Decline -1,800 in Illinois

Media Contact: Anjali Julka
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The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in March held steady at 6.0 percent.  The state’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March, which also was unchanged from the prior month at 5.5 percent.  Nonfarm payroll employment shed -1,800 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In March, a few industry sectors posted gains in employment and the two largest were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+4,200), and Construction (+3,600).  Three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Leisure and Hospitality (-4,900); Financial Activities (-2,400); and Other Services (-1,900). 

“Illinois continues to see more sluggish job growth than the nation as a whole and we are a continued laggard with our fellow midwestern states,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “We absolutely have to turn this around.”

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +71,600 jobs with the largest gains in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+20,000); Professional and Business Services (+19,200); and Construction (+16,600).  Two key sectors posted over-the-year declines in March: Financial Activities (-2,900); and Manufacturing (-2,300).  

In March, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.0 percent and stood 1.7 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 7.7 percent.  The number of unemployed workers remained virtually unchanged from the prior month at 391,200 and is down -22.2 percent over the same month for the prior year. 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.

“Compared to the rest of the country, Illinois families and businesses continue to suffer from a business climate that has stifled growth and job creation in our state for years,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz. “Governor Rauner’s reforms will alleviate the financial and regulatory burdens currently hurting businesses in order to promote growth and job creation in Illinois.”






·        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).  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​