Illinois hits 17 months of job growth despite jobless rate rise

Illinois Department of Employment Security logo

Illinois’ statewide unemployment rate rose slightly in October even as the state marked its 17th consecutive month of job growth. 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced In a recent news release that the unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.6%, while nonfarm payrolls increased by 3,600 jobs in October.

The monthly unemployment report is based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In the report, IDES said the September monthly change in payrolls was revised down to 14,100 new jobs from the 14,500 job gain in the preliminary report. But the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.5%.

In October, IDES said the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment included: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+2,800 jobs), Leisure and Hospitality (+2,300), Manufacturing (+1,800), and Professional and Business Services (+1,800). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines included: Government (-8,100) and Information (-100).

“Job growth throughout the state has remained strong for nearly a year and a half, and the most recent data is evidence that workers are engaged in the growing labor market,” Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in the release. “IDES is committed to providing job seekers and employers with the resources necessary to take advantage of the many newly created jobs across industries.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.9 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.7% in October, which was up +0.2 percentage point from the previous month. Compared to October 2021, the Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.7 percentage point from 5.3% a year ago.

“Over the past year, Illinois has continued to exhibit positive long-term employment trends, with considerable improvement in the state’s unemployment rate, and the addition of nearly 192,000 new jobs,” Sylvia Garcia, the director of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), said in the release. “DCEO continues to support economic recovery throughout the state through marquee economic development programs that attract job creators, help Illinois businesses grow, and support job-seekers through statewide resources and programs.”

In year-over-year comparisons, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +191,900 jobs, with gains across nearly all major industries. The industry groups with the largest job increases include: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+46,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+43,700), and Professional and Business Services (+35,500). The Mining sector reported a small decrease in payroll employment (-200). In October, total nonfarm payrolls were up 3.3% over-the-year in Illinois and up 3.6% in the nation.

The number of unemployed Illinois workers rose from the prior month. IDES reported an increase of 2.6% to 298,200, which was down 10.9% over the same month one year ago. The labor force was down slightly (-0.2%) over-the-month and up +1.5 percent over-the-year. 

In May 2020, Gov. J.B. Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a new one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes IllinoisJobLink.com (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 48,975 posted resumes with 141,403 available jobs.

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