News and Announcements - Article

Employers Add 6,400 Jobs and Rate Holds at 8.7 Percent

​For Immediate Release | Greg Rivara, Media contact: (312) 793-9635 (pdf version)

Unemployment Data Best Since 2009

CHICAGO - Illinois employers added +6,400 jobs in February and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.7 percent and down from 9.2 percent one year ago, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The 8.7 percent unemployment rate in January and February is the lowest since February 2009 when it was 8.5 percent.

"February's job numbers shows that our economy continues to improve. The snapshot is another positive piece in the long-term trend of economic growth building in Illinois," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "It also reminds us that more is needed and expected because that economic success has yet to return to every household."

January's preliminary job loss data already has been revised upward by the BLS. The new estimate, which could be further revised, emphasizes the volatility of monthly data. That is why public and private analysts prefer long-term trends when evaluating the strength of an economy.

Illinois added +257,400 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+121,000, +15.4 percent); Education and Health Services (+55,500, +6.7 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality (+36,800, +7.2 percent). Government (-25,600, -3 percent) continues to lead job loss.

In February, large gains in Professional and Business Services (+10,400) and Leisure and Hospitality (+4,000) more than offset declines in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-6,100). Most of this decline was at Chicagoland food stores. In February 2014, the number of unemployed individuals increased 1,900 (+0.3 percent) to 569,100. Total unemployed has fallen -184,400 (-24.5 percent) since early 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent in January.

Since January 2010, when compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 35 months and job loss in 14. The unemployment rate fell in 24 months, increased in nine and was unchanged in 16.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000. This includes periods of economic expansion and contraction.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

​​​​ Feb 2014​ Jan 2014​ * Feb 2013​ 3 Month Moving Avg​
​Illinois ​8.7% ​8.7% ​9.2% ​8.7%
​U.S. 6.7%​ ​6.6% ​7.7% ​6.7%

* Revised

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-farm Jobs - by Major Industry

Notes:

Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2009-2013 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.

Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available. For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go here​.

"Other Services" includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.

Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/page.aspx?item=2509 .

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