The Illinois unemployment rate fell in June for the fourth consecutive month to reach 7.1 percent while employers created 6,000 jobs, according to seasonally adjusted preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The combined April-June reduction of 1.3 points in the unemployment rate is the largest three-month drop since this data series began in 1976. The last time the rate was lower was October 2008 when it was 7 percent.
The significant drop in the unemployment rate so far this year reflects Illinois’ historical role of following the nation into and out of economic cycles. This pattern generally is expected to continue until global demand lifts Illinois’ manufacturing sector, which in turn would help housing and the construction industry.
The unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First-time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in June were 6 percent lower than one year ago. First-time claims in June also were at the lowest monthly level since 2007. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in June advertised for more than 212,800 jobs (203,500 seasonally adjusted) and 86 percent sought full-time work.
Employers added 250,900 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois. Leading sectors are professional and business services (+107,900, +13.8 percent); education and health services (+59,100, +7.2 percent); trade, transportation and utilities (+44,700, +4.0 percent); and leisure and hospitality (+34,600, +6.8 percent). Government continues to lead job loss (-22,100, -2.6 percent.)
In June, the number of unemployed individuals fell 30,600 (-6.2 percent) to 461,700. Total unemployed has fallen -291,800 (-38.7 percent) since the rate peaked at 11.4 percent.
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000. This includes periods of economic expansion and contraction.
The national unemployment rate in June was 6.1 percent.