Illinois’ unemployment rate jumped to 9.5 percent in February. This is up from 9 percent in January, despite an increase in the number of jobs of 12,400. “Businesses are hiring, and we’re seeing some nice job growth, but that growth is not yet enough to absorb all of the people who are coming back into the workforce who had been sitting on the sidelines,” said Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Click here for summary
From January to February, while those 12,400 jobs were added, the number of officially unemployed grew by 34,900. The unemployment rate in Illinois hasn’t been this high since November 2011. Rivara says it may be several months before the labor market absorbs all the new entrants. He says the unemployment rate is discouraging, but the trend is toward a healthy economy, with the state adding jobs in 28 of the last 38 months.
The state has 5.8 million people working, and 629,400 looking for jobs.