Statewide Unemployment Rate Down, Jobs Up in January 2021

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate decreased -0.3 percentage point to 7.7 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were up +9,700 jobs in January, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The December monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from -2,500 to -9,200 jobs. The December unemployment rate was revised from the preliminary report, rising +0.4 percentage point to 8.0 percent. The January payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the January payroll jobs and the unemployment rate. In January, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+11,500), Leisure and Hospitality (+5,100), and Other Services (+2,400). The industry sectors that reported the largest monthly payroll declines were: Financial Activities (-6,400), Construction (-3,200), and Government (-1,800). The state’s unemployment rate was +1.4 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January, which was 6.3 percent, down -0.4 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +4.2 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.5 percent. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -504,800 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (-216,600), Government (-71,100) and Educational and Health Services (-65,400). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down -8.2 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s -6.3 percent over-the-year decline in January. The number of unemployed workers fell from the prior month, a -3.6 percent decrease to 473,000, and was up +114.0 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was down -0.1 percent over-the-month and down -3.5 percent over-the-year. 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 2020, 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 41,909 posted resumes with 103,844 available jobs.




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