Illinois unemployment falls slightly to 6% in October

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Information provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (November 18, 2021) – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate fell -0.2 percentage point to 6.0%, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +40,900 in October, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.

In October, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+17,700), Leisure and Hospitality (+8,400) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+7,700). The industry sectors that reported the monthly payroll declines were: Information (-1,500) and Educational and Health Services (-500).

“Today’s data are positive markers indicating a continued recovery to our economy and labor market,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “IDES continues to work with employers and jobseekers to assist matching businesses with those looking to reenter the workforce or make career changes. Both employers and jobseekers are encouraged to take advantage of Get Hired Illinois to search for available jobs and workers in their area.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.4 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for October, which was 4.6%. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -2.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 8.1%.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +190,300 jobs, with gains across nearly all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+60,800), Professional and Business Services (+50,000), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+37,200). Financial Activities (-5,200) was the only industry group that reported jobs losses. In October, total nonfarm payrolls were up +3.4% over-the-year in Illinois and +4.1% in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a -3.4% decrease to 370,400, and was down -27.7% over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up +0.1% over-the-month and was down -1.6% 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, featuring virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and IllinoisJobLink.com (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 51,412 posted resumes with 162,087 available jobs.

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