The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, up +0.1 percentage point from the prior month, and nonfarm payrolls were down -2,800 jobs over-the-month based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The February jobs loss was revised downward from the preliminary report (from -12,600 to -10,800 jobs). Average payroll employment growth during the January to March three-month period was +4,400 jobs, with the largest gains in Manufacturing (+1,700), Professional and Business Services (+1,300) and Educational and Health Services (+1,100). In March, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Manufacturing (+1,400), Financial Activities (+1,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+1,200) and Other Services (+1,200). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-4,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-3,000) and Construction (-1,600). The state’s unemployment rate is +0.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March 2019, which remained at 3.8 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is up +0.1 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.3 percent.