News and Announcements - Illinois Unemployment Rate Rises to 6.3 in...

News and Announcements : Illinois Unemployment Rate Rises to 6.3 in January; Jobs Increase by 1,500

Illinois Unemployment Rate Rises to 6.3 in January; Jobs Increase by 1,500


FOR RELEASE: Contact: Anjali Julka
Thursday, March 10, 2016  ​​                                                                                                                                       
312-793-9635 w

Printer - friendly PDF  

CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ the unemployment rate in January rose 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 percent and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +1,500, based on data released by IDES and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


Illinois’ average job growth since employment recovery began in January 2010 remains significantly below the national average, and employment will not recover from the 2007-2009 recession until May 2016, according to IDES labor market analysts. The nation is currently 3.5 percent above its prior peak level of employment.


“When you compare job growth to most other states across nation, Illinois has persistently lagged the national growth rate throughout the recovery period,” said Jeff Mays, Director, IDES.  “Even with the upward revision to the 2015 jobs figures, we went from no growth to very low growth.  At the same time, the nation grew twice as fast.”


Each year, the BLS benchmarks nonfarm payroll estimates to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports. This year, revisions conducted revealed that nonfarm payrolls grew by +88,000 in 2014 rather than +66,800 and jobs grew by +49,600 in 2015 rather declining by -3,000. Private nonfarm payrolls regained their January 2008 peak levels in July 2015. However, the BLS’ revisions in nonfarm payroll employment show Illinois is still short -16,800 jobs in reaching the January 2008 peak employment level.


“While the country as a whole has emerged from the recession, Illinois has not been a part of this recovery,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz said. “Unemployment continues to rise, and industries such as manufacturing continue to lose thousands of jobs. We need to create a business climate that promotes growth and job creation in order to regain the thousands of jobs lost in the recession, and put Illinois on the path of full economic recovery.”


The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January, which dipped to 4.9 percent.  In January 2016, the unemployment rate stood 0.3 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.0 percent. The number of unemployed workers increased +3.0 percent from the prior month to 412,600 and was up +5.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.


To help individuals who are looking for work and employers who are looking to hire, IDES’ encourages jobseekers and employers to connect through the state’s largest job search engine (IJL). IJL recently showed that 64,195 resumes were posted and 175,661 help-wanted ads were available.


In January, the two industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+3,600) and Educational and Health Services (+3,200). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Government (-2,600); Other Services (-2,100); and Financial Activities (-1,700). 

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +57,600 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+20,300); Educational and Health Services (+19,400); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+12,300).  Two industry sectors posted over-the-year declines in January: Manufacturing (-6,300) and Information (-1,400).


Monthly Tables:  Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates & Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry






·        Monthly 2011 - 2015 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised 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 here: Illinois & Chicago Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rates


·        Monthly 1994 – 2014 unadjusted and seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.


·        Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at Not Seasonally Adjusted Jobs Data. “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 encourages employment by connecting employers to jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Department’s website for more information and join IDES on Facebook.