Illinois Unemployment Rate Remains at 4.3 percent

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in February, unchanged since November 2018, and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -12,600 jobs over-the-month based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. January  jobs gain was revised upward from the preliminary report (from +24,400 to +26,700 jobs). Average payroll employment growth during the December to February three-month period was +7,200 jobs, with the largest gains in Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality. In February, the two industry sectors with over-the-month gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+3,800) and Government (+100). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Construction (-5,300), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-4,400) and Leisure and Hospitality (-4,200). Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +59,100 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in February: Education and Health Services (+13,800), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+12,100) and Professional and Business Services (+11,400). The industry sectors with over-the-year declines were: Information (-2,300) and Construction (-300). There was no change in Mining sector jobs. Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +1.7 percent over-the-year gain in February. The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for February 2019, which fell to 3.8 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.4 percent. The number of unemployed workers was up slightly from the prior month, +0.3 percent to 281,300, but down -0.8 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month and over-the-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, (IJL), which recently showed 61,681 posted resumes with 97,688 jobs available.

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