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More Illinoisans Leave Labor Force

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate in June decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -2,200 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and IDES. The decrease in Illinois’ unemployment rate is largely due to a decline in the labor force. Job growth is still below the national average, with Illinois -51,500 jobs short of its peak employment level reached in September 2000.


“In June, Illinois experienced yet another exodus and over-the-year job growth is still at half the national rate,” Director Jeff Mays said. “As we do our part in expanding services that help jobseekers find work more quickly, structural reforms are necessary to get the state’s economy back on track.”


“We’ve lost more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs over the last year, and replacing those middle class jobs has been an uphill battle due to the high costs facing Illinois businesses,” Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy said. “Manufacturing has been a critical part of our state’s economy, providing stable, good paying jobs for Illinois families. We need action on structural reforms to Illinois’ dysfunctional worker’s compensation, regulation, and tax systems to make our state competitive and bring solid middle class jobs back to Illinois.”

In June, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+3,000); Financial Activities (+1,700); and Other Services (+1,500). The two industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Educational and Health Services (-7,300) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-1,000).


Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +41,300 jobs with the largest gains in Leisure and Hospitality (+19,100); and Professional and Business Services (+16,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines in June include: Manufacturing (-9,100) and Information Services (-2,700). The 0.7 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is less than the 1.7 percent gain posted by the nation in June.


The state’s unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2016, which increased to 4.9 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate stood 0.4 percentage points above the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 5.8 percent.


The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.1 percent from the prior month to 409,300, up +8.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force grew by +1.9 percent in June over the prior year, but decreased 0.5 percent over-the-month. 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.


To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine IJL recently showed that 55,995 resumes were posted and 173,330 help-wanted ads were available.




·         Monthly 2011 – 2015 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, 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 Census Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking.  For these reasons, comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous state news releases/materials might no longer be valid.

·         Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here: Illinois & Chicago Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rates

·         Monthly 1994 – 2014 unadjusted and seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll 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 at Not Seasonally Adjusted Jobs. “Other Services” include activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.  Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.