Unemployment Rate increases in Illinois to 6.6 %

Unemployment Rate increases in Illinois to 6.6 %

Chicago – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in April rose 0.1 percentage points to 6.6 percent and nonfarm payrolls increased by +5,400 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES.Overall job growth is still below national average. Illinois remains -43,000 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.

“April saw modest job growth but more than half of this growth was experienced in temporary jobs or employment agencies,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Additionally, though Illinois jobs saw a moderate increase over the last four months, the portion of full-time jobs in Illinois remains lower than it was before the recession began in 2007.”

“Illinois’ growth continues to lag the rest of the country, and is one of only three states that have not regained its peak employment,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy said. “If Illinois had kept pace with national growth, our state would have added another quarter million jobs for hardworking Illinois families. Instead, unemployment in Illinois rose for the sixth month in a row. We need structural reforms that get the Illinois economy growing in order to create jobs and catch up with the rest of the country.”

In April, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+7,600); Educational and Health Services (+2,600) and Government (+1,400). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Other Services (-2,300); and Financial Activities (-2,200).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +67,500jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+20,800); Educational and Health Services (+20,800); and Professional and Business Services (+14,000). Industry sectors with over-the-year declines in April include: Manufacturing (-5,900); Information Services (-2,600) and Financial Activities (-2,200). The 1.1 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.9 percent gain posted by the nation in April.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2016, which held at 5.0 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.7 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.9 percent. According to IDES analysts, the unemployment rate is increasing in Illinois because of lagging job growth and more workers entering the labor force who are not immediately able to find work.

The number of unemployed workers increased +2.3 percent from the prior month to 439,400, up +14.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +2.7 percent in April over the prior 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). IJL recently showed that 58,542 resumes were posted and 176,905 help-wanted ads were available.

(IDES)

Caption: Waiting for a job fair
Photo: Justin Lane/EPA

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