Latest figures show slight rise in Illinois unemployment

 

From Illinois Business Journal news services

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that Illinois’ nonfarm payroll employment gained 400 jobs and the unemployment rate in November rose 0.3 percentage points to 5.7 percent, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Illinois’ average job growth since the employment recovery began in January 2010 remains below the national average, and employment will not recover from the 2007-2009 recession until January 2017, according to IDES analysts. The nation is currently 3.3 percent above its prior peak level of employment.

“The increased unemployment rate is primarily the result of more people reentering the labor force looking for work,” said Jeff Mays, director, IDES. “While the increase in the unemployment rate is disappointing, our challenge for the coming year is to grow more jobs to create opportunities for more Illinois workers.”

IDES’ IllinoisJoblink.com program, which helps jobseekers connect with hiring companies, recently showed that 70,040 resumes were posted and 159,138 help-wanted ads were available. The department continues to conduct outreach through employer seminars and hiring fairs to better connect jobseekers to employers.

The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for November, which held at 5.0 percent. In November, the unemployment rate stood 0.5 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 6.2 percent. The number of unemployed workers increased 5.1 percent from the prior month to 371,700 and was down -8.4 percent over the same month for the prior year. 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 BLS revised slightly October nonfarm payroll employment data, which showed a gain (13,700) in Illinois rather than the preliminary estimate of a larger gain (+14,100). In November, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Other Services (2,000); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (1,200); and Leisure and Hospitality (900). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were Construction (-1,500); Professional and Business Services (-1,200); and Education and Health Services (-1,100).

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 35,700 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (15,700); Education and Health Services (12,500); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (8,600). A few sectors posted small over-the-year declines in November but the two largest were: Manufacturing (12,800); and Mining (1,100).

“While we continue to see improvements in the growth of jobs and the labor force in Illinois, these gains are not shared equally,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Jim Schultz said. “The manufacturing and mining industries continue to hemorrhage middle class jobs, while our neighboring states continue to grow. We need to significantly reform our state’s business climate if we want to reverse the flow of manufacturing jobs out of Illinois and start growing again.”

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