News and Announcements - Illinois Adds 5,400 Jobs; Overall Job Growth...

News and Announcements : Illinois Adds 5,400 Jobs; Overall Job Growth Still Below National Average - Unemployment Rate increases to 6.6 %

Illinois Adds 5,400 Jobs; Overall Job Growth Still Below National Average - Unemployment Rate increases to 6.6 %

 Contact: Anjali Julka, 312-793-9635,  | April_2016_Statewide2016.pdfApril_2016_Statewide2016.pdf

CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in April rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased by +5,400 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. Illinois remains -43,000 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“April saw modest job growth but more than half of this growth was experienced in temporary jobs or employment agencies,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Additionally, though Illinois jobs saw a moderate increase over the last four months, the portion of full-time jobs in Illinois remains lower than it was before the recession began in 2007.”

“Illinois’ growth continues to lag the rest of the country, and is one of only three states that have not regained its peak employment,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy said. “If Illinois had kept pace with national growth, our state would have added another quarter million jobs for hardworking Illinois families. Instead, unemployment in Illinois rose for the sixth month in a row. We need structural reforms that get the Illinois economy growing in order to create jobs and catch up with the rest of the country.”

In April, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+7,600); Educational and Health Services (+2,600) and Government (+1,400). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Other Services (-2,300); and Financial Activities (-2,200).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +67,500jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+20,800); Educational and Health Services (+20,800); and Professional and Business Services (+14,000). Industry sectors with over-the-year declines in April include: Manufacturing (-5,900); Information Services (-2,600) and Financial Activities (-2,200). The 1.1 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.9 percent gain posted by the nation in April.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2016, which held at 5.0 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.7 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.9 percent. According to IDES analysts, the unemployment rate is increasing in Illinois because of lagging job growth and more workers entering the labor force who are not immediately able to find work. 

The number of unemployed workers increased +2.3 percent from the prior month to 439,400, up +14.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +2.7 percent in April over 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 connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine (IJL). IJL recently showed that 58,542 resumes were posted and 176,905 help-wanted ads were available.

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 at for more information and join IDES on Facebook.​