State Unemployment Fell By 3 Points in October

By Benjamin Cox on November 20, 2020 at 8:42am

Unemployment in the state fell during the month of October. The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced yesterday that the unemployment rate fell 3.6 percentage points to 6.8%, while nonfarm payrolls were about unchanged, down 1,100 jobs in October, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The September monthly decrease in payrolls was revised down from the preliminary report, from 12,000 to 9,200 jobs. The September unemployment rate was revised upward from 10.2% to 10.4%.

The state’s unemployment rate was one-tenth of a percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate reported for October, which was 6.9%, down a point from the previous month.

Three industry sectors in the state saw large gains. Professional and Business Services; Construction; and Trade, Transportation, and Utility jobs were all up by at least 2,000 jobs. Heavy job losses were seen in government, education and health, and information technology.

Unemployment claimants are bracing for the expiration of CARES Act unemployment programs on December 26th, likely meaning the end of benefits for many across the country. Governor J.B. Pritzker has called on more federal help for the unemployed in recent weeks to stabilize the economy. Compared to last year, the state saw a decrease of approximately 411,000 jobs across all industries, despite a 35.5% decrease in the number of unemployed workers compared to last month and a shrinkage of the state labor force over 1.5%.

Unemployment numbers are expected to increase again after the state entered Tier 3 mitigations this week, shuttering many in the restaurant and food service industry. County-specific unemployment numbers are expected next week.