Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.2 Percent

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent in December. Nonfarm payroll employment gained +17,100 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

December job growth was led by Construction (+6,000); Educational and Health Services (+4,700); and Leisure and Hospitality (+4,500); gains were partly offset by declines in Government Services (-1,200) and Financial Activities (-900).

“The 0.9 percent gain in December over the year was significantly less than the national increase of 2.1 percent,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays, “indicating that Illinois employment growth remains lower than the national average.”

Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +51,600 jobs with the largest gains in Professional and Business Services (+25,700); Construction (+20,200); and Educational and Health Services (+12,700). Four sectors posted declines in December over the prior year: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-8,700); Information Services (-2,400), Financial Activities (-1,400) and Government (-1,200).

In December, the unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points from November to 6.2 percent and stood 2.7 percentage points below the unemployment rate a year ago when it was 8.9 percent. The number of unemployed workers decreased by 3.6 percent from the prior month to 405,700 and is down 30.1 percent over the same month for the prior year.

The Conference Board’s Help Wanted Online index revealed that 191,850 ads were posted online for the state of Illinois (not seasonally adjusted)

To apply for these jobs, go to, the state’s help wanted internet job board managed by IDES. features Resume Builder and Resunate. Resume Builder provides step-by-step instructions to create an effective resume which is immediately matched to existing help wanted ads seeking those skills. Resunate scores the resume against a specific help wanted ad and offers suggestions on how to improve the resume before applying for the job. Resunate is freely available to anyone when accessed from an 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.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry


  • Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2009-2013 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.
  • Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.  For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go to “Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at: