Statewide Unemployment Drops to 11 Percent, Payrolls Increase in August

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.5 percentage points to 11.0 percent, while nonfarm payrolls added +66,000 jobs in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The July monthly change in payrolls was revised upward from the preliminary report, from +93,200 to +105,000 jobs. The July unemployment rate was revised upward from the preliminary report, from 11.3 percent to 11.5 percent. The August payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the August payroll jobs and the unemployment rate. The state’s unemployment rate was +2.6 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 8.4 percent, down -1.8 percentage points from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +7.2 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.8 percent. The number of unemployed workers declined from the prior month, a -2.9 percent decrease to 695,000 but was up +182.6 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was up +1.6 percent over-the-months and down -1.5 percent over-the-year. Confidence in the Illinois economy has grown in recent months.  From January 2020 to April 2020, the Illinois labor force declined -4.6% (-294,000 individuals) and, yet, from April 2020 to August 2020, the labor force has rebounded 3.6% (nearly 224,000 individuals). In August, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+16,400), Government (+15,900), and Professional and Business Services (+9,900). Only one industry sector reported a payroll decline: Information (-1,400). Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -428,700 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (-143,700), Professional and Business Services (-72,500) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-53,400). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down -7.0 percent over-the-years as compared to the nation’s -6.8 percent over-the-year decline in August. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. In May, Governor 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 Illinois Job Link (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 75,453 posted resumes with 77,139 available jobs.







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