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Illinois Unemployment Rate Inches Up on Labor Force Growth - October Payrolls Up in Most Industry Groups

Contact: Bob Gough | 217-685-4454 mobile   PDF Version


11/15/18 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate increased 0.1 percentage points to 4.2 percent in October and nonfarm payrolls increased by +10,300 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The September job gains were revised downward from the preliminary report (from +2,800 jobs to +1,700 jobs).

Job growth was moderate during the August to October period posting an average monthly change of +3,000 jobs, an improvement over the prior month when the three-month average change was -500 jobs.

“Nonfarm payrolls were up over-the-month led by gains in trade, transportation and utilities, information and manufacturing, “said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The unemployment rate was about unchanged in October, inching up only slightly but lower than it was a year ago.”

“We are excited to see Illinois’ unemployment rate continue to decline over the year,” said DCEO Acting Director Leslie Munger. “We are experiencing the benefits of working to create a more business-friendly environment and expanding new training and apprenticeship opportunities for those entering the workforce.”

In October, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+5,300); Information Services (+2,000); and Manufacturing (+1,300). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-2,000), and Financial Activities (-600). 

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +59,300 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in October: Government (+14,800); Manufacturing (+12,800); and Construction (+9,800). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Other Services (-1,800) and Information Services (-1,200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.7 percent over-the-year gain in October. 

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for October 2018, which held at 3.7 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.7 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.9 percent. 

The number of unemployed workers increased +1.2 percent from the prior month to 270,100, down -15.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force increased +0.2 percent over-the-month but was down -0.2 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 57,508 posted resumes with 199,099 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, 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 for more information. You can also follow IDES on Twitter and Facebook.