State Unemployment Hits 2nd Straight Record Low in September.

By Benjamin Cox on October 18, 2019 at 10:23am

Illinois continues to see record lows for unemployment statewide. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that nonfarm payrolls increased +4,800 jobs compared to last month, and the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in September, down -0.1 percentage point from the prior month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The September unemployment rate established a new record low for the state, following the previous record set in August. The August monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.4 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for September 2019, which was 3.5 percent and down -0.2 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.3 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.2 percent.

Illinois payroll employment has shown variability since the beginning of the year, as have national payrolls. Average payroll employment in Illinois during the July to September three-month period, which provides a more stable measure of payroll employment change, was about unchanged, up +100 jobs. The largest average gains were found in Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+1,400), Government (+600), Financial Activities (+400) and Educational and Health Services (+400).

The number of unemployed workers decreased from the prior month, -2.5 percent to 255,900, a new record low, and was down -6.5 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month but up +0.7 percentage point over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine, (IJL), which recently showed 60,315 posted resumes with 101,544 jobs available.

Current rates broken down by county have not been released for the month of September, but Morgan, Cass, and Greene counties were all in line with the state average in the month of August.