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Illinois Unemployment Rate Unchanged - Matches Record Low - September Payrolls Up in Most Industry Groups

​Contact: Bob Gough | Bob.Gough@illinois.gov - 217-685-4454 mobileOct 18_Statewide.pdfPDF VersionVersion


10/18/18 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in September and nonfarm payrolls increased by +2,800 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The August job losses were revised upward from the preliminary report (from -5,200 jobs to -3,100 jobs).

 
Job growth was flat during the July to September period (third quarter) posting an average monthly change of -100 jobs, significantly less than the prior 3-month average monthly gain of +9,200 jobs during the April and June period (second quarter). The 9-month period (year-to-date) is posting average monthly gains of 4,900/month, up from a year ago when the average monthly increase was 4,000 for the same year-to-date period.
 
“Nonfarm payrolls were up over-the-month led by gains in education and health services and manufacturing, and jobs were also up over 50,000 from a year ago, “said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois’ unemployment rate at 4.1 percent in September again matched the record low for the state.”
 
“Over the last year, Illinois has experienced a steady decrease in unemployment,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Leslie Munger. “We are thrilled to see opportunity and investment expand across all communities in the state due to an increased focus on supporting our small businesses and marketing our assets to companies around the globe looking to expand.”
 
In September, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Education and Health Services (+3,300); Manufacturing (+2,300); and Construction (+1,400). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-2,500), Other Services (-1,500) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-800). 
 
Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +50,300 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in September: Manufacturing (+14,600); Government (+10,900); and Leisure and Hospitality (+8,900). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Information Services (-3,800) and Other Services (-900). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.8 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.7 percent over-the-year gain in September. 
 
The state’s unemployment rate is +0.4 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for September 2018, which declined to 3.7 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.9 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.0 percent. Before last month, the Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.1 percent in February 1999. 
 
The number of unemployed workers decreased -0.7 percent from the prior month to 266,800, down -17.1 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month but declined -0.3 percent over-the-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 57,230 posted resumes with 205,449 jobs available. 
 
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
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Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry
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  • 1976-2017 seasonally adjusted 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. In February 2018, the BLS also introduced a new seasonal adjustment procedure for state labor force estimates which resulted in the entire monthly historical series for Illinois and all other states being replaced. For all of these reasons, the comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous state news releases/materials may 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 2013-2017 seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment 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. Effective with January 2018 estimates, the BLS introduced concurrent seasonal adjustment for monthly state nonfarm payroll employment estimates 
  • 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,and 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 for more information. You can also follow IDES on Twitter and Facebook.