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Illinois unemployment rate dips in March

Lowest number of unemployed in more than a decade

information provided by the Office of the Governor

CHICAGO, Ill. (April 21, 2018) –The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced this week that the unemployment rate decreased by -0.1 percentage point to 4.6 percent in March, and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The February job gain was virtually unchanged from its initial report. (+15,300 jobs versus +15,200 jobs).

Job growth improved in the January to March period posting average monthly gains of +4,000 jobs, an increase over the prior three-month period (October to December 2017) with average monthly gains of +2,200 jobs.

“The number of unemployed in Illinois is at its lowest level since December 2006 and the unemployment rate dipped to its lowest level since March 2007,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “The stabilization of the labor force is also an encouraging sign.”

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March 2018, which held at 4.1 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.4 percentage points from a year ago when it was 5.0 percent. The Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.6 percent in March 2007.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.5 percent from the prior month to 297,700, down -7.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was unchanged over-the-month, but it was up +0.1 percentage points over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment.

Individuals who exhaust or are ineligible for benefits are 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 59,539 posted resumes with 184,089 jobs available.


Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma
Melanie Jongsma grew up in Lansing, Illinois, and believes The Lansing Journal has an important role to play in building community through trustworthy information.