Illinois' unemployment rate ties with the lowest on record
State unemployment dropped in August to its lowest rate in nearly 20 years, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reports. The last time the state jobless rate hovered just above 4 percent was in February 1999, setting a record.
“Illinois’ unemployment rate stood at 4.1% in August, matching the lowest rate on record,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays.
Over the past three months, job growth has been steady, according to state figures. Each month averaged more than 4,000 jobs.
But non-farm payrolls decreased by 5,200 jobs month over month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
“Even with the over-the-month drop, non-farm payrolls have surpassed the prior business cycle peak of September 2000. Jobs are still up more than 47,000," compared to this time last year, led by manufacturing, he said.
“The positive job growth over the last year indicates that efforts to improve the Illinois economy and actively recruit new investment are paying off,” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy said. “Illinois is seeing the best employment environment since 1999, demonstrating that companies can see the potential to grow in our state.”
Financial activities, government, and manufacturing sectors had the highest percentage of growth in August.
Illinois’ August unemployment rate is 0.2 percent higher than the national rate. However, compared to August 2017, the state’s rate has dropped 0.9 percentage points.
The jobless rate singles out adults who wish to be working but aren’t. A resident doesn’t have to be eligible for unemployment benefits to be included in the count. They do, however, need to be actively seeking employment.
The IDES goal is to help job seekers make new, helpful connections. IDES controls the largest job search engine in the state. The site recently listed 207, 510 available jobs.
Illinois’ unemployment rate has been higher than the national average for years. However, the current gap between the rates is the smallest number that’s been recorded since December 2010.
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