SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased +12,700 in March, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and released by IDES. The February revised unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, unchanged from the preliminary February unemployment rate. The February monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +23,100 to +26,700 jobs. The March unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

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In March, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included: Government (+3,300), Leisure and Hospitality (+2,900), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+2,400). The industry sectors with monthly payroll job declines included Financial Activities (-1,100), and Mining (-100).

“Growth in payroll jobs throughout industry sectors continues to fuel the strength of the Illinois labor market and statewide economy,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “Newly created jobs mean more opportunities for the diverse and talented Illinois workforce, and IDES remains committed to providing critical resources that bridge jobseekers and employers.”

“Continued growth in payroll jobs serves as a testament to Illinois companies continuing to invest in our communities and workforce,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Looking ahead, DCEO will continue to support Illinois job creators and ensure jobseekers have the resources and tools they need to be successful.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.0 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for March. The national unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in March, down -0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +0.6 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.2 percent.

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Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +26,100 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases included: Government (+30,100), Private Education and Health Services (+24,000), and Leisure and Hospitality (+12,900). The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases included: Professional and Business Services (-37,600), Information (-6,500), and Financial Activities (-4,700). In March, total nonfarm payrolls were up +0.4 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +1.9 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was 312,200, up +1.1 percent from the prior month, and up +15.5 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was up +0.1 percent over-the-month and up +1.2 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.

IDES helps connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring in a number of ways, including hosting and co-hosting job fairs and hiring events with statewide workforce partners, and through maintaining Illinois JobLink (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine. IJL is a tool used by jobseekers to look for work, and by employers who can post open and available positions for hire and browse resumes. Recently, IJL showed 59,280 posted resumes with 92,511 jobs available.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry

  • Monthly 2019-2023 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 may no longer be valid.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here.
  • Monthly 2019-2023 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 SecurityThe Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, jobseekers, and employers with resources including Job Fairs, IllinoisJobLink.com, 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 IDES.Illinois.gov.

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