Statewide Unemployment Rate Reaches Lowest Point Since Pandemic’s Start

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The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 4.5 percent, the lowest the rate has been since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, and nonfarm payrolls increased by +18,800 in June, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The May monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +12,800 to +13,400 jobs. The May unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 4.6 percent. The June payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

In June, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment included: Leisure and Hospitality (+9,900), Professional and Business Services (+3,100), Construction (+2,000) and Educational and Health Services (+2,000). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines included: Financial Activities (-1,700) and Other Services (-800).

“With the statewide unemployment rate at its lowest since the onset of the pandemic, the data released today is a further reflection of continued economic recovery and evidence of a strengthening Illinois labor market,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “As continued claims volumes reach record lows, the Pritzker Administration and IDES, working with local partners, are committed to providing employment and training resources to ensure a competitive labor force while assisting employers in finding versatile workers.”

“Illinois has made tremendous strides in the labor market, adding nearly 250,000 jobs over the past year and reaching the lowest unemployment rate since the onset of the pandemic,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Illinois remains laser focused on supporting the state’s positive gains by expanding workforce training opportunities, attracting job creators and making resources available for priority industries, such as tourism and hospitality and small businesses.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.9 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June, which was 3.6 percent, unchanged from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -2.0 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 6.5 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +245,700 jobs, with gains across nearly all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases include: Leisure and Hospitality (+79,900), Professional and Business Services (+51,100), and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+40,900). The Mining sector (-100) was the only industry sector that reported an over-the-year decline in payroll employment. In June, total nonfarm payrolls were up +4.2 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +4.3 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a -2.3 percent decrease to 290,600 and was down – 28.8 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged (0.0 percent) over-the-month and up +2.2 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 partnership with IDES and DCEO, 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 IllinoisJobLink.com (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 46,350 posted resumes with 164,137 available jobs.

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