Unemployment rate declines to 5.5%

Unemployment rate declines to 5.5%

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate in August decreased -0.3 percentage points to 5.5 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -46,400 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

„In this 30-day snapshot, manufacturing losses were heavy, which contributed to more than half of the month’s decrease in nonfarm payroll jobs,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. „The surveys have shown a great deal of fluctuation over the past year; seeing how the numbers develop over the long-term should make the trend clear.”

„Illinois residents continue to drop out of the workforce at a concerning rate, driven out by the steady loss of jobs and anemic growth,” DCEO Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. „If our state enacted the structural reforms necessary to get Illinois growing at the national rate, we could create 200 new jobs every day and put Illinois back to work. Instead, the state lost 8,200 jobs and nearly 20,000 people gave up looking for work.”

In August, the two industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+3,400); and Professional and Business Services (+2,000). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Manufacturing (-4,400); Financial Activities (-2,600); and Education and Health Services (-1,900).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +40,100 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+23,000); and Professional and Business Services (+17,000). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in August include: Manufacturing (-11,800) and Information Services (-3,600). The +0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the +1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in August.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August 2016, which held at 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.3 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.8 percent. The unemployment rate declined for the fourth consecutive month in August, as did the labor force and the number of people unemployed.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -5.1 percent from the prior month to 363,700, down -3.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.0 percent in August over the prior year, but decreased -0.3 percent over-the-month. 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). IJL recently showed that 61,572 resumes were posted and 176,638 help wanted ads were available.
Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

Categories: News in English

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