September 16 – Illinois’ unemployment rate has dropped for the fourth straight month, but state officials are saying the drop comes as Illinois’ workforce declines.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) says the state’s jobless rate for August came in at 5.5 percent, down from 5.8 percent July 2016. The 2016 August unemployment rate also fell compared to the same time last year when it was 5.8 percent.
“In this 30-day snapshot, manufacturing losses were heavy, which contributed to more than half of the month’s decrease in nonfarm payroll jobs,” IDES Director Jeff Mays says. “The surveys have shown a great deal of fluctuation over the past year; seeing how the numbers develop over the long-term should make the trend clear.”
In August, the two industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+3,400); and Professional and Business Services (+2,000). The three industry sectors with the largest declines in employment were: Manufacturing (-4,400); Financial Activities (-2,600); and Education and Health Services (-1,900).
Illinois lost a total of 8,200 jobs from July 2016 to August 2016, but the state is still up 40,100 jobs compared to August 2015.
The state’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average, which held steady at 4.9 percent in August.