CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate held steady at 4.3 percent in June and nonfarm payrolls increased by +18,100 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The May job gain was revised down slightly from its initial report to show a smaller gain. (+7,700 jobs versus +8,600 jobs).

Job growth accelerated in the April to June period posting average monthly gains of +9,500 jobs over this three-month period, more than the 6-month average monthly gain of +7,500 jobs between January and June 2018.

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“June’s payroll gain is the largest in 12 months and the third largest in 24 months,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady in June and stands at its lowest point in 12 years.”

“This positive trend of 12-year lows and new job growth is encouraging,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “Our commitment to the people of Illinois remains building a competitive economy that attracts opportunity and allows our hard-working citizens to thrive.”

In June, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Government (+7,400); Leisure and Hospitality (+6,300); and Professional and Business Services (+5,300). The industry sector with the largest payroll decline was: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-5,000).

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +58,300 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in June: Government (+12,900); Leisure and Hospitality (+11,800); and Education and Health Services (+9,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines were: Information Services (-3,800) and Mining (-200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in June. This was the second consecutive month for an increase of this magnitude in Illinois.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June 2018, which rose to 4.0 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.6 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.9 percent. Apart from last month, the Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.3 percent in September 2006.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -1.1 percent from the prior month to 275,800, down -13.7 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month, but it was up +0.1 percent over the prior year. 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), which recently showed 55,022 posted resumes with 193,683 jobs available.

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Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs - by Major Industry

1976-2017 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, 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. In February 2018, the BLS also introduced a new seasonal adjustment procedure for state labor force estimates which resulted in the entire monthly historical series for Illinois and all other states being replaced. For all of these reasons, the comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous state 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: Illinois & Chicago Metropolitan Area Unemployment Rates

Monthly 2013-2017 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. Effective with January 2018 estimates, the BLS introduced concurrent seasonal adjustment for monthly state nonfarm payroll employment estimates

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

About IDES: IDES encourages employment by connecting employers to jobseekers, provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals, produces labor market data and protects taxpayers from unemployment insurance fraud. Visit the Department’s website at for more information. You can also follow IDES on Twitter and Facebook.

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