CHICAGO – Illinois added 3,800 jobs in January and the unemployment rate fell -0.3 to 9.4 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). This is the fifth consecutive monthly decline and the largest decline since September 1992. The data is seasonally adjusted.
“January adds another month in the long-term trend of putting people back to work,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Adding private sector jobs in 21 of the past 25 months and recording the largest monthly decrease in the unemployment rate in nearly 20 years is progress that people can see.”
Illinois has added +122,900 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois after 23 consecutive months of declines. Since January 2010, leading growth sectors in Illinois are Professional and Business Services (+66,400); Educational and Health Services (+29,700); Manufacturing (+26,000); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+17,800). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -24,700.
Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. Only seven times since January 2000 has the state rate been lower than the nation’s. That period includes times of economic expansion and contraction. In January 2012, the number of unemployed individuals was down for the fifth consecutive month, decreasing -18,100 (-2.8 percent) to 620,300. Total unemployed has declined ‑132,500 (-17.6 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The 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.
The IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through nearly 60 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.
Please note that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics requires revisions to monthly employment and labor force data. The revisions occur each February based upon updated Census data, unemployment insurance inputs and seasonal factors. Data and analysis distributed prior to March 1, 2012 should be discarded.