Illinois Unemployment Rises

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Illinois - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced Thursday that Illinois’ the unemployment rate in January rose 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 percent , based on data released by IDES and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Illinois’ average job growth since employment recovery began in January 2010 remains significantly below the national average, and according to analysts employment will not recover from the 2007-2009 recession until May 2016.

The nation is currently 3.5 percent above its prior peak level of employment.

“When you compare job growth to most other states across nation, Illinois has persistently lagged the national growth rate throughout the recovery period,” said Jeff Mays, Director, IDES.  “Even with the upward revision to the 2015 jobs figures, we went from no growth to very low growth.  At the same time, the nation grew twice as fast.”

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.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January, which dipped to 4.9 percent.  In January 2016, the unemployment rate stood 0.3 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.0 percent. The number of unemployed workers increased +3.0 percent from the prior month to 412,600 and was up +5.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. 

In January, the two industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+3,600) and Educational and Health Services (+3,200). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Government (-2,600); Other Services (-2,100); and Financial Activities (-1,700).

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