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April Jobs Increase +4,800 in Illinois

Revised BLS Data for March Show Further Decline in State’s Job Loss

Contact: Anjali Julka

April2015StatewideUI .pdfApril2015StatewideUI .pdf

5/21/15 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in April held steady at 6.0 percent.  The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April, which dipped slightly from the prior month to 5.4 percent.  Nonfarm payroll employment gained +4,800 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS’ revisions to March data indicate a further decline in Illinois’ job loss from a preliminary -1,800 to -2,200.  IDES data shows Illinois has gained an average of 5,200 jobs per month since recovery from the 2007 recession, a significantly slower pace than the majority of other states.  IDES analysts estimate that the number of Illinois’ jobs will not reach pre-recession levels until July 2016.

“At the current sluggish pace of our economic recovery, Illinois won’t see a return to its pre-recession peak employment level for another year or more,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “This is concerning, given that more than half of the country, including most of our neighboring states, have already regained their pre-recession levels.”

In April, three industry sectors posted gains in employment: Professional and Business Services (+8,200), Other Services (+1,400) and Educational and Health Services (+1,100). Trade, Transportation and Utilities were unchanged for the month.  Three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Financial Activities (-2,400); Manufacturing (-1,200); and Construction (-800).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +62,900 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+23,400); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+17,400); and Construction (+14,100).  Three key sectors posted over-the-year declines in April: Financial Activities (-4,100); Manufacturing (-3,300) and Government (-1,200).

The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.  An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.  IDES’ (IJL) program, which helps jobseekers connect with hiring companies, showed that 166,009 help wanted ads were posted in April and 60,837 individuals posted resumes online.  However, many positions continue to remain unfilled.  The Department continues to address this disconnect and help encourage job growth in the state.

In April, the unemployment rate stood 1.4 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 7.4 percent.  The number of unemployed workers remained virtually unchanged from the prior month at 390,700 and is down -19.3 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“Compared to the rest of the country, Illinois is still lagging behind in job growth.  We need to strive as a state to lower the unemployment rate and make Illinois competitive again,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz.  “Governor Rauner’s initiatives will transform Illinois’ economic development and increase job opportunities for our state.” 




  • Monthly 1976-2014 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised using new, fourth generation state time-series models, 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 at:
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at  “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 connects employers to job-seekers, helps unemployed individuals find work, provides unemployment insurance to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud.  Visit the Department’s website at and join IDES on Facebook.​