News and Announcements - Article

July Jobs in Illinois Increase +1,900; Illinois Job Growth Lags Behind Nation

FOR RELEASE: Contact: Anjali Julka,, phone: 312-793-9635 w 

PDF version

​Illinois Job Growth Lags Behind Nation

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in July declined to 5.8 percent and nonfarm payroll employment added +1,900 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The state’s job growth numbers, however, continue to trail those of all other states, and further delay Illinois’ economic recovery from the 2007-2009 recession.

“Since the beginning of this year, Illinois has gained only a quarter of the job growth seen by the rest of the country. Had we grown at the same pace, Illinois would have added 40,000 more jobs by now,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “With the added problem of a widening job growth gap between Illinois and the rest of the nation, we won’t achieve pre-recession job levels until September 2016, nearly two and a half years after the entire nation regained its jobs.”

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for July, which held at the prior month’s level of 5.3 percent. The BLS revised June data, which showed a smaller drop in Illinois’ job losses from a preliminary -7,500 to -5,600. In July, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Government (+2,600), Leisure and Hospitality (+2,400) and Construction (+2,000). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Professional and Business Services (-5,300); Education and Health Services (-600); and Manufacturing (-600).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +50,100 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+16,400); Education and Health Services (+14,000); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+12,400). Three key sectors posted over-the-year declines in July: Manufacturing (-5,300); Other Services (-2,200); and Financial Activities (-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, recently showed that 174,121 help wanted ads were available and 61,674 resumes were posted. As many positions continue to remain unfilled, the Department continues its efforts to help spur job growth.

In July, the unemployment rate stood 0.9 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.7 percent. The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.3 percent from the prior month to 373,600 and was down -13.8 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“Illinois companies have continued to close their doors weekly. We cannot afford to continue down this path,” Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz said. “We desperately need structural reform to create a more welcoming environment for business in order to be competitive and bring jobs home. Illinois needs to be attracting businesses, not losing them.”

Seaonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates & Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry


•      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 and jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance to eligible individuals, produces labor data, and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud.