Statewide unemployment rate down in August

Chronicle Media 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reports that the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 7.0 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were mostly unchanged, increasing by 2,500 jobs, in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.

The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from adding 35,400 to 38,100 jobs. The July unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 7.1 percent.

The August payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the August payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

In August, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+ 5,800), Manufacturing (+ 3,900), and Government (+1,900). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: Educational and Health Services (- 4,900), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-2,300), and Other Services (-1,300).

“The decreasing unemployment rate and continued job stabilization is encouraging in today’s report, especially as the state continues to monitor the increase of COVID-19 cases and the impact it may have on our communities, said Deputy Gov. Andy Manar.  “IDES continues to assist those looking to return to the workforce, matching employers with jobseekers and providing other reemployment services and training to those seeking assistance.”

“While today’s report demonstrates an ongoing, positive trend, too many Illinoisans continue to endure challenging economic times,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  “That’s why, under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, we are redoubling our commitment to small business recovery, capital and workforce training assistance programs that will help our hardest hit communities and businesses get back on track.  Together, these efforts will support our continued recovery, return more Illinoisans to work, and give our economy the boost it needs.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 5.2 percent, down -0.2 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -4.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 11.1 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +163,700 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+59,100), Professional and Business Services (+45,300), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+24,200).  The industry groups that reported  jobs losses were Financial Activities (-4,900) and Government (-1,700). In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up +2.9 percent over-the-year in Illinois and +4.3 percent the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a -0.4 percent decrease to 435,900, and was down -37.3 percent over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up +0.2 percent over-the-month and was down -0.6 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.