State: Jobs in Illinois Decrease By 6,900 While Unemployment Rate Declines to 5.4

​Illinois Jobs Decline Four Consecutive Months.

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that Illinois’ unemployment rate in September declined to 5.4 percent and nonfarm payroll employment shed -6,900 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The state’s job numbers dropped for a fourth consecutive month, keeping Illinois below the national average.  Based on the slower path recorded this year, IDES analysts anticipate that Illinois employment will not recover from the 2007-2009 recession until April 2017.  The nation is currently 2.9 percent above its prior peak level of employment.

“Illinois businesses have added only 2,200 new jobs since the beginning of this year,” said Jeff Mays, Director, IDES.  “It’s been six years since the recession and job growth is still dismal.  We’ve got a long way to go before Illinois realizes real employment and economic recovery.”

IDES’ (IJL) program, which helps jobseekers connect with hiring companies, recently showed that 62,287 resumes were posted and 174,891 help-wanted ads were available.  The Department continues to conduct outreach through employer seminars and hiring fairs to better connect jobseekers to employers.

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.  The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for September, which held at 5.1 percent.  The BLS revised August data, which showed a moderate drop (-5,200) in Illinois rather than the preliminary estimate of a small dip (-900).  In September, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Government (+2,100), Other Services (+1,500) and Education and Health Care (+1,400).  The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-6,400); Leisure and Hospitality (-1,900); and Manufacturing (-1,800).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +27,100 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+14,700); Education and Health Services (+13,600); and Leisure and Hospitality (+4,500).  Several sectors posted small over-the-year declines in September but the two largest were: Manufacturing (-9,000) and Mining (-1,000).  In September, the unemployment rate stood 1.0 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.4 percent.  The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.8 percent from the prior month to 352,600 and was down -15.6 percent over the same month for the prior year.

“While the country is reporting new levels of peak employment well above pre-recession levels, Illinois continues to fall farther and farther behind, losing thousands of jobs a month and pushing people out of our workforce and our state,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said. “Illinois’ economic recovery cannot wait until 2017. We must begin to enact pro-growth, pro-jobs reforms now to jumpstart desperately needed economic growth and job creation in our state.”

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry




  • Monthly 1976-2014 labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised using new, fourth generation state time-series models, 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 at:
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available at  “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.

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