News and Announcements - Article

Illinois Jobs Dip in November - November Unemployment Rate Holds Steady

Contact: Bob Gough | Bob.Gough@illinois.gov | Dec2017_Statewide.pdfPDF Version

12/21/17 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9 percent in November and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -1,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. October job growth was revised up to show a larger gain (+9,300 jobs) than initially reported (+3,400 jobs).

November’s monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. While Illinois job growth has had its ups and downs since the beginning of the year, the 3-month trend shows average gains of +100 jobs per month from September to November, while the six-month trend shows an increase of +800 average monthly job gains from June to November. The 3-month was better than reported last month, though the 6-month change showed less strength.

“Illinois employment growth saw a lot of over-the-month ups and downs this past year.” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “But payrolls overall have increased by about a half-percent over the year to date, which is an additional 23,900 jobs.”

“Our focus remains on creating a business-friendly environment that is conducive to opportunity,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “While we are still growing slower than the nation, Illinois is seeing the benefits of a pro-business administration that is committed to fostering innovation, attracting investment and creating jobs.”

 In November, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+6,300); Manufacturing (+2,200); and Construction (+2,100). The three industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Government (-2,800); Financial Activities (-2,200) and Other Services (-2,100). 

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +25,900 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in November: Financial Activities (+13,600); Professional and Business Services (+9,500); and Education and Health Services (+7,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include: Government (-8,000); Leisure and Hospitality (-1,800); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,400). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.4 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.4 percent over-the-year gain in November.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for November 2017, which held at 4.1 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.9 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.8 percent. At 4.9 percent, the Illinois jobless rate is -0.8 percentage points lower than January 2017. 

The number of unemployed workers dipped -1.0 percent from the prior month to 313,800, down -16.2 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force increased 0.3 percent over-the-month and declined by -0.9 percent in November over the prior year. 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.

To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine,  IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 86,141 posted resumes with 166,021 jobs available.  

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

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  • Monthly 2012 - 2016 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised 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 here: Illinois & Chicago Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rates​​
  • Monthly 1990 – 2016 unadjusted and seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at Not Seasonally Adjusted Jobs. “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 encourages employment by connecting employers to jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Department’s website at www.ides.illinois.gov for more information. You can also follow IDES on Twitter and Facebook.​