SPRINGFIELD – Over the year, total nonfarm jobs increased in eleven metropolitan areas, decreased in two and was unchanged in one for the year ending August 2023, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (DES). The unemployment rate increased in thirteen metropolitan areas and decreased in one.

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“Steady, consistent job growth statewide continues to boost a strengthening Illinois economy,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar.“A growing labor market and newly created jobs are giving workers and jobseekers the opportunity to reenter the workforce and pivot career choices that better suit the talent and diversity of the state workforce.”

The metro areas which had the largest over-the-year percentage increases in total nonfarm jobs were the Elgin Metro (+2.5 %, +6,400), the Danville MSA (+2.2%, +600), and the Springfield MSA (+2.0%, +2,200). Total nonfarm jobs in the Chicago Metro were up +0.9% or +35,700. Total nonfarm jobs were down in the Kankakee MSA (-0.5%, -200), and the Rockford MSA (-0.2%, -300) and unchanged in the Decatur MSA. Industries that saw job growth in a majority of metros included: Education & Health Services (thirteen areas); Leisure & Hospitality (twelve areas); and Government (eleven areas).

The metro areas with the largest unemployment rate increases were the Danville MSA (+2.0 points to 7.1%), the Rockford MSA (+1.9 points to 7.4%), and the Decatur MSA (+1.7 points to 7.2%). The only metro area with an unemployment rate decrease was the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division (-0.2 percentage point to 5.0%).

Metro East Highlights

The August 2023 unemployment rate for the Illinois Section of the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area was 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate increased +1.2 percentage points from the August 2022 rate of 4.0 percent. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

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The labor force expanded by +8,311 participants between August 2022 and August 2023, from 338,783 to 347,094. During that time, the estimated number of residents employed increased by +3,707, from 325,289 to 328,996. There were 18,098 unemployed people in the labor force in August 2023. The number of unemployed persons increased by 4,604 compared to the 13,494 unemployed persons in August 2022.

Total nonfarm payrolls increased by +1,300 jobs in August 2023 to 239,500 compared to 238,200 jobs in August 2022.

Payrolls increased in Leisure and Hospitality (+1,500), Educational and Health Services (+600), Mining and Construction (+300), Wholesale Trade (+200), Professional and Business Services (+200) and Other Services (+100).

Payrolls in the Manufacturing and Information Services sectors were essentially unchanged between August 2022 and August 2023.

Nonfarm payrolls declined in Retail Trade (-900), Government (-300), Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities (-200), and Financial Activities (-200).

Note: Monthly 2022 unemployment rates and total nonfarm jobs for Illinois metro areas were revised in February and March 2023, as required by the U.S. BLS. Comments and tables distributed for prior metro area news releases should be discarded as any records or historical analysis previously cited may no longer be valid.

Disclaimer: The data contained in the metro area employment numbers press releases are not seasonally adjusted, and therefore are subject to seasonal fluctuations due to factors such as changes in weather, harvests, major holidays, and school schedules. Current monthly metro data should be compared to the same month from prior years (January 2023 data compared to January 2022 data) as data for these months have similar seasonal patterns. Comparisons should not be made to data for the immediate previous month or other previous non-matching months, as any changes in the data within these time periods may be the result of seasonal fluctuations and not economic factors.

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