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Nonfarm payrolls remain 25,600 below prior peak - Unemployment rate drops to 4.7% in April

5/18/17 - ​CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate declined -0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent in April and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -7,200 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. Due to payroll declines for both March and April, Illinois remains -25,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000. 

“Illinois did not participate in the nation’s job growth in April,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Furthermore, the decline in the unemployment rate was largely due to a drop in the labor force, not more people working.”


Job Losses Reported in More than Half of the Metro Areas - Unemployment rate declines in most areas

​4/27/17 - Unemployment rates were down over-the-year in all but one of Illinois’s metro areas. Six of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs and eight reported declines, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. 

This month’s report almost mirrors last month’s,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The only difference is the overall increase in jobs is down when compared to last month. Even though the unemployment rate is lower, we still don’t have enough people working.”

Unemployment rate drops to 4.9% in March - Over-the-month and over-the-year job growth lags national average

​4/20/17 - IDES announced today that the unemployment rate declined -0.5 percentage points to 4.9 percent in March and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -8,900 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data proved by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. 

February job growth was revised down to show an increase of +14,800 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of +25,600 jobs. March’s monthly payroll gain kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. The March drop coupled with February’s downward revised gain means that Illinois remains -19,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000. 

“Illinois payrolls weakened in March, just like they did for the nation,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The usual pattern is that Illinois weakens more than the nation but grows less than the national average when both are on the upswing. This persistent lag in job growth explains why it took 10 years to push the unemployment rate below 5 percent.”


Coming in September 2017 - Report and Pay Unemployment Insurance Taxes through MyTax Illinois

As part of the IDES modernization effort, starting on September 11, 2017, Illinois employers will be able to use MyTax Illinois to complete all of their unemployment insurance (UI) processes.  IDES is putting more features and functionality online to better serve all of our employers’ needs.

In addition to filing your UI wage reports online, with MyTax Illinois employers will be able to

  • Make your payments quickly and easily

  • Request refunds

  • Submit appeals electronically

  • Request penalty/interest waivers

  • Maintain Power of Attorney relationships

  • Report quarterly zero wages

  • View your new annual rates immediately

  • Set up a deferred payment plan

  • See all of your IDES letters and correspondence online

  • And most importantly, complete all of your Illinois tax processing on one secure and proven (free) website, MyTax Illinois!

Employers no longer have to:

  • Rely on the postal service to do business with IDES

  • Register a new business with IDOR and IDES separately

  • Maintain multiple logon IDS, passwords and piles of paper!

Please feel free to share this information with your tax preparer.

IDOR and IDES are dedicated to improving the tax experience for all Illinois employers.  Keep watching the IDES website www.ides.illinois.gov for additional information.  If you have any questions, please contact the IDES Employer Hotline at 1-800-247-4984. Thank you!



Constance Beard
Director, IDOR

Jeffrey D. Mays
Director, IDES

May 2017