IDES - Home

IDES - Home

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.”

Unemployment Rate Decreases in Most Metro Areas - Many downstate metros continue to report job losses

​​3/30/17 -All but one of Illinois’ metropolitan (metro) areas experienced decreases in their over-the-year unemployment rate. Six of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, eight reported declines, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES.

“More than half of the metro areas statewide lost jobs,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Of all the nonfarm jobs gained over the last year, less than 10 percent were outside of the Chicago metro area.”

Vendor Contracted by Illinois Department of Employment Security Data Breached

3/24/17 - ​IDES notified the Illinois General Assembly of confirmation that one of its vendors experienced a data breach affecting approximately 1.4 million Illinois job seekers, according to the vendor’s current estimate. The vulnerability was not the result of any deficiency in software maintained by the State of Illinois and may have impacted ten states.  Video interview: Illinois’ Chief Information Officer on Cybersecurity

“The threat of cyber-crime is a clear and present danger to the citizens of Illinois and our administration will continue pressing forward with a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy,” Eleni Demertzis, Spokeswoman for Governor Rauner.  “We implore Comptroller Mendoza to reevaluate her decision to hold up funding for this important project, which everyday puts the people of Illinois at risk.”

Notice to Illinois Job Seekers About America's Job Link Alliance (AJLA) Data Breach 

April 3, 2017

Dear Illinois Job Seeker:  

On March 22, 2017, IDES received confirmation that one of its vendors, America’s Job Link Alliance (AJLA), experienced a data breach. AJLA owns America’s JobLink (AJL), which is a multi-state web-based system that links job seekers with employers for 10 states, including Illinois. Illinois uses the AJL system as the platform for its Illinois JobLink website, which serves Illinois job seekers and employers. America’s Job Link Alliance - Technical Support (AJLA-TS) maintains the AJL system software.

The vulnerability that permitted the hack was not the result of any deficiency in software maintained by the State of Illinois.

IDES is attempting to individually notify each Illinois job seeker who was affected by the breach. See additional details.  

Report and Pay Unemployment Insurance Taxes through MyTax Illinois

MyTax Illinois

Starting September 2017, employers will be able to use MyTax Illinois for their unemployment insurance monthly wage reporting, quarterly unemployment insurance report filing, and the contribution payment process.

Many taxpayers already use the secure MyTax Illinois website portal to electronically file and pay taxes with the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR). This simple, secure MyTax Illinois experience will soon be extended to employers who file and pay unemployment insurance taxes as well. Learn more about the benefits of this new system.



Constance Beard
Director, IDOR


February 2017


Jeffrey D. Mays
Director, IDES