Illinois unemployment up slightly in August

Illinois Department of Employment Security logo

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced the statewide unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point to 4.5% in August while nonfarm payrolls increased by 4,100 jobs. 

The monthly statistics are based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. 

As part of its monthly report, IDES also said the July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from 31,200 to 35,000 jobs. The July unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.4%. The August statistics reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

According to IDES, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment in August include: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+4,500), Construction (+3,500), and Government (+1,500). Sectors with the largest monthly payroll declines include: Manufacturing (-3,200), Professional and Business Services (-2,600), and Information (-500).

“The increase to statewide jobs and the continued historic decrease in continued claims levels for unemployment insurance benefits point to a strengthening Illinois labor market,” Deputy Governor Andy Manar said in a news release. “IDES remains committed to utilizing the tools at its disposal to connect employers and jobseekers who are looking to reenter the workforce and take advantage of the job opportunities throughout the state.”

Sylvia Garcia, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, added: “Illinois has seen considerable improvements in its unemployment rate and has added nearly 240,000 jobs, signaling a positive long-term trajectory.” 

The state’s unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 3.7%, up 0.2 percentage point from the previous month.

The state’s unemployment rate was down 1.5 percentage points from the same month last year when it was 6%. 

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 239,700 jobs, with gains across nearly all major industries. Industry groups with the largest job increases include: Leisure and Hospitality (+58,600), Professional and Business Services (+51,900), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+50,800). The Mining sector reported no change in payroll employment over-the-year. In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up 4.1% over-the-year in Illinois and up 4% in the nation.

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