Illinois’ unemployment rate in January decreased 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
The state’s unemployment rate is slightly higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January at 5.7 percent. Nonfarm payroll employment, however, shed 7,100 jobs, based on preliminary data released by the Department and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits will still be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.
In January, three industry sectors posted large gains in employment: leisure and hospitality (+3,300); educational and health services (+2,300); and trade, transportation and utilities (+1,600). Four industry sectors reported large declines in employment: professional and business services (-5,500); government (-2,700); construction (-2,500); and manufacturing (-2,100).
“While a month-to-month decrease in nonfarm payrolls is not unusual, it’s clear Illinois has more work to do to catch up with other states,” Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeffrey Mays said. “Our economy is simply not yet firing on all cylinders.”
Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by 65,000 jobs, with the largest gains in professional and business services (+16,700); educational and health services (+15,200); and construction (+11,100). One sector posted a decline in January over the prior year: financial activities (-1,400).
In January, the unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percentage point from December to 6.1 percent and stood 2.1 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago, when it was 8.2 percent. The number of unemployed workers decreased by 0.8 percent from the prior month to 398,500 and is down 25.5 percent over the same month for the prior year.
“Growth in business and economic activity is critical to adding jobs throughout the state,” Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Jim Schultz said. “As Governor Rauner has clearly and repeatedly emphasized, this administration is determined to increase growth in business activity to create job opportunities, remedy the state’s severe fiscal problems and improve the lives of Illinoisans.”