News and Announcements - Article

October Jobs in Illinois Increase +14,100 while Unemployment Rate Holds at 5.4

​Contact: Anjali Julka 
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CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ nonfarm payroll employment gained +14,100 jobs and the unemployment rate in October held at 5.4 percent, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). October’s gain follows four consecutive monthly declines. Illinois’ average job growth since the employment recovery began in January 2010 remains below the national average, however, and employment will not recover from the 2007-2009 recession until December 2016, according to IDES analysts. The nation is currently 3.1 percent above its prior peak level of employment.

“For 2015, job growth this month was the strongest since February and it is positive that we reversed the four-month decline preceding these numbers. Our job growth rate, however, continues to lag behind the nation,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “While the unemployment rate remained unchanged in October, our workforce participation rate edged up slightly as more people entered the labor force and more people found jobs during the month.”

IDES’ (IJL) program, which helps jobseekers connect with hiring companies, recently showed that 62,847 resumes were posted and 169,551 help-wanted ads were available. The Department continues to conduct outreach through employer seminars and hiring fairs to better connect jobseekers to employers.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for October, which dipped to 5.0 percent. The BLS revised September nonfarm payroll employment data, which showed a moderate drop (-3,000) in Illinois rather than the preliminary estimate of a larger decline (-6,900). In October, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Educational and Health Care (+7,900); Leisure and Hospitality (+3,500); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+1,800). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Manufacturing (-1,900); and Professional and Business Services (-1,100). The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +40,300 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+21,700); Education and Health Services (+16,300); and Construction (+7,000). A few sectors posted small over-the-year declines in October but the three largest were: Manufacturing (-10,000); Government (-1,800) and Mining (-1,100). In October, the unemployment rate stood 0.9 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.3 percent. The number of unemployed workers increased +0.2 percent from the prior month to 353,400 and was down -14.1 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“While October’s job growth is good news for working families in Illinois, after four straight months of net job loss we cannot become complacent,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said. “Unemployment in Illinois remains above the national average, we continue to bleed manufacturing jobs, and current job growth puts full employment recovery over a year away. We can hasten Illinois’ economic recovery by enacting significant structural reforms that improve our state’s business climate and encourage job creation.”

Seasonally 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 market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud.  Visit the Department’s website at for more information and join IDES on Facebook.