CHICAGO — The October unemployment rate in Illinois was 6.6 percent, unchanged from September, and down from 9.1 percent one year ago, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Private employers added 900 jobs in October, but government job cuts meant 2,000 fewer payroll positions than in September. Illinois employers still reported 39,400 more jobs than on year ago. The labor force grew by 31,800 in October, increasing the number of people working or looking for work to 6,531,100, the highest level since November 2008. The number of unemployed was 429,000, down 324,500 since January 2010.
“After months of strong growth, private-sector job growth slowed somewhat, but it was a decline in government employment that led to October’s decline in jobs,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Private employers have advertised for 200,000 openings each month and 85 percent of the positions seek full-time employment.”
October job growth was led by Education and Health Care (4,600) and Manufacturing (900). These gains were offset by declines in Government Services (-2,900), Information Services (-1,500) and Financial Activities (-1,400).
Employers added 296,800 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois in February 2010. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (125,000); Education and Health Services (66,700); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (52,200); and Leisure and Hospitality (35,700). Government remains the job loss leader, shedding 24,900 positions during the same period.
Other economic indicators continue to show labor market improvement. First-time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in October the number of monthly claims was at its lowest level since 1999. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Index show that Illinois employers in October advertised for nearly 212,000 jobs and 85 percent sought full-time work.
To apply for these jobs, go to Illinoisjoblink.com, the state’s help wanted Internet job board managed by IDES. Illinoisjoblink.com features Resume Builder and Resunate. Resume Builder provides step-by-step instructions to create an effective resume which is immediately matched to help wanted ads. Resunate improves the resume before applying for the job. Resunate is freely available to anyone when accessed from an IllinoisJobLink.com account, regardless of employment status or eligibility for unemployment insurance.
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 for October was 5.8 percent.