Skip to content

Illinois payroll jobs stable, unemployment rate up minimally in August

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced on Sept. 14, 2023, that the unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.1 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were almost unchanged, down -100, in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.

August total nonfarm payrolls remained above the pre-pandemic number of total nonfarm payroll jobs.

The July revised unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, unchanged from the preliminary July unemployment rate. The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +11,200 to +3,400 jobs.

The August unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

In August, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included: Educational and Health Services (+4,400), Leisure and Hospitality (+800), and Manufacturing (+400). The industry sectors with the largest monthly payroll job declines included: Professional and Business Services (-3,300), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,100), and Other Services (-700).

“Illinois continues to benefit from long-term, post-pandemic statewide job growth and continued strengthening of the labor market,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “The state continues its work capitalizing on opportunities to enhance investments in workforce opportunities and supporting a talented and diverse labor force with employment training and resources.”

“Stable employment figures this month combined with significant long-term improvements in the unemployment rate and job growth speak to the economic trajectory in Illinois,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “DCEO remains committed to supporting our world-class workforce by providing resources and training, and by supporting jobseekers and job creators across the state.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.3 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August. The national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in August, up +0.3 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.4 percentage point from a year ago when it was at 4.5 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +75,600 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases included: Educational and Health Services (+39,900), Government (+28,400), and Leisure and Hospitality (+25,200). Professional and Business Services (-15,300), Manufacturing (-9,400), and Information (-5,200) reported the largest declines in payroll jobs. In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up +1.2 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +2.0 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was 266,200, up +4.4 percent from the prior month, and down -8.0 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged (0.0 percent) over-the-month and down -0.2 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 June 2020, Governor Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a 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 (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 53,893 posted resumes with 108,411 available jobs.


  • Monthly 2018-2022 seasonally adjusted labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The monthly historical revisions to state labor force estimates reflect new national benchmark controls, state working-age population controls, outlier specifications, seasonal factors, as well as updated total nonfarm jobs and unemployment benefits claims inputs. Illinois labor force data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking. For these reasons, the comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous news releases/materials June no longer be valid.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here.
  • Monthly 1990-2022 seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available here. “Other Services” include activities in three broad categories: personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations. Seasonally adjusted data for subsectors within industries are not available.

About the Department of Employment Security

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, jobseekers, and employers with resources including Job Fairs,, and WorkShare IL, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program. To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit

Leave a Comment