News and Announcements - Article

Illinois Payrolls Up in April - Unemployment Rate Unchanged

Contact: Sam Salustro  312-550-1582 mobile | Statewide_release_May_2019.pdfPDF Version

5/16/19 - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that nonfarm payrolls were up +20,900 jobs over-the-month and the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in April, unchanged from the prior month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The March jobs loss was revised upward from the preliminary report (from -2,800 to -6,100 jobs).

Illinois employment patterns showed increased variability compared to previous years due, in part, to unusual weather. As a result, some industry sectors, including Construction, saw exceptionally large payroll growth in April. Average payroll employment growth during the February to April three-month period, which provides a more stable measure of payroll employment change, was +1,300 jobs, with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+1,900), Leisure and Hospitality (+1,200) and Other Services (+800)

“Illinois continues to see solid, longer-term job growth and reached a record high in total payrolls in April,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “Governor Pritzker is working hard to restore fiscal stability to our state and ensure Illinois can continue building a thriving economy now and in the future.”

“Growing, training, and sustaining a strong workforce are top priorities for Governor Pritzker. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is helping the administration achieve its goals by providing an array of trainings and other programming that will set Illinoisans on the path to success.” Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +83,500 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in April: Professional and Business Services (+22,500), Leisure and Hospitality (+17,000) and Education and Health Services (+14,800). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Information (-3,600) and Mining (-100). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.4 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +1.8 percent over-the-year gain in April.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2019, which fell to 3.6 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, +0.8 percent to 286,700, and was up +2.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force rose +0.1 percentage point over-the-month and +0.2 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, IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 61,301 posted resumes with 97,027 jobs available.


Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

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Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry

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  • 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.