Illinois’ unemployment rate increases in August

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced that the state’s unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.1% in August, while nonfarm payrolls remained almost unchanged.

In a recent news release, IDES said its monthly employment report for August was based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. August total nonfarm payrolls were down only 100 jobs compared to the previous month as the levels remained above the pre-pandemic number of total nonfarm payroll jobs. 

Also as part of its release, IDES said the July revised unemployment rate was 4%, or unchanged from the preliminary July unemployment rate. The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report of +11,200 jobs to +3,400 jobs in that month. 

The August unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflects activity for the week including Aug. 12th.

In August, Illinois’ industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included: Educational and Health Services (+4,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+800), and Manufacturing (+400). The industry sectors with the largest monthly payroll job declines included: Professional and Business Services (-3,300), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,100), and Other Services (-700).

“Illinois continues to benefit from long-term, post-pandemic statewide job growth and continued strengthening of the labor market,” Illinois Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said in the release. “The state continues its work capitalizing on opportunities to enhance investments in workforce opportunities and supporting a talented and diverse labor force with employment training and resources.”

Economic trajectory is up

Kristin Richards, the director of the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said in the release: “Stable employment figures this month combined with significant long-term improvements in the unemployment rate and job growth speak to the economic trajectory in Illinois. DCEO remains committed to supporting our world-class workforce by providing resources and training, and by supporting jobseekers and job creators across the state.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.3 percentage point higher than the nation’s unemployment rate in August, which was 3.8% or up +0.3 percentage point from July. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.4 percentage point from a year ago when it was at 4.5 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +75,600 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest job increases included: Educational and Health Services (+39,900), Government (+28,400), and Leisure and Hospitality (+25,200). Professional and Business Services (-15,300), Manufacturing (-9,400), and Information (-5,200) reported the largest declines in payroll jobs. 

In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up 1.2% over-the-year in Illinois and up 2% in the nation.

According to IDES, the number of unemployed Illinois workers was 266,200, which was up 4.4% from the prior month, and down 8.0% over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged over-the-month and down 0.2% over-the-year. 

The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. 

The state’s Get Hired Illinois website is a one-stop-shop to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes, the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 53,893 posted resumes with 108,411 available jobs.

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