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Illinois Unemployment Rate Up Slightly in March - Three-Month Average Jobs Up in Illinois

​Contact: Sam S​alustro​ | 312-550-1582   April2019Statewide.pdfPDF Version

4/18/19 -The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, up +0.1 percentage point from the prior month, and nonfarm payrolls were down -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 February jobs loss was revised downward from the preliminary report (from -12,600 to -10,800 jobs).

Average payroll employment growth during the January to March three-month period was +4,400 jobs, with the largest gains in Manufacturing (+1,700), Professional and Business Services (+1,300) and Educational and Health Services (+1,100). 

“This administration has begun the hard work of restoring fiscal sanity to our state so that we can build a thriving economy for all Illinoisans,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “Governor Pritzker laid out a bold agenda that protects working families and makes the long-term investments needed to grow good-paying jobs in this state.” 

 “Governor Pritzker has made training and preparing the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow a priority and I am excited to work with him on achieving that goal,” said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

In March, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Manufacturing (+1,400), Financial Activities (+1,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+1,200) and Other Services (+1,200). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-4,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-3,000) and Construction (-1,600). 

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +47,400 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in March: Education and Health Services (+14,000), Manufacturing (+9,000), and Professional and Business Services (+8,400). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Construction (-4,700), Information (-2,900) and Mining (-200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +0.8 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +1.7 percent over-the-year gain in March. 

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March  2019, which remained at 3.8 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is up +0.1 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.3 percent. 

The number of unemployed workers increased from the prior month, +1.1 percent to 284,400,  and was up +1.3 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month but was up +0.1 percentage point 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, (IJL), which recently showed 62,954 posted resumes with 98,957 jobs available.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates


Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry


  • 2014-2018 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. For 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 1990-2018 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. 
  • 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​.