Jobs up, unemployment down across Illinois in May


Chicago Construction News staff writer

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reports the unemployment rate across Illinois fell -0.1 per cent to 4.1 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +2,500 in May, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.

In May, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included: Government (+2,600), Financial Activities (+1,900), and Leisure and Hospitality (+1,400). The industry sectors with the largest monthly payroll job declines included:  Construction (-2,400), Manufacturing (-1,700), and Information (-800).

“Today’s data is further evidence that Illinois continues to experience sustained economic stabilization and expanded job growth across industry sectors throughout the state,” said deputy governor Andy Manar.  “The state’s commitment to investments in workforce and economic development, coupled with the resources provided by IDES, gives jobseekers more opportunities to participate in the labor force and gives employers the ability to expand their businesses with Illinois talent.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.4 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for May, the smallest difference since February 2020. The national unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in May, up +0.3 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.3 percentage point from a year ago when it was at 4.4 percent.

“The falling unemployment rate and continued job growth across Illinois are evidence of a strong economy that continues to propel forward,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “The state is fostering an environment for sustained economic progress by attracting job creators to the state and bolstering Illinois’ top-tier workforce, providing resources to jobseekers, and supporting working families throughout Illinois.”

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +120,300 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases included: Educational and Health Services (+37,200), Leisure and Hospitality (+34,900) and Government (+30,300). Information (-4,100) and Professional and Business Services (-1,400) reported declines in payroll jobs. In May, total nonfarm payrolls were up +2.0 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +2.7 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was 265,200, the lowest level since the onset of the pandemic. The number of unemployed was down -3.5 percent from the prior month, and -7.4 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was down -0.1 percent over-the-month and down -0.2 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.

In May 2020, Gov. Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 53,861 posted resumes with 110,158 available jobs.


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