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Statewide Unemployment Rate Down, Payroll Jobs Up in November

Announcement – Thursday, December 16, 2021

CONTACT: Will Gomberg | 312.793.9376
PDF Version

– The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell    -0.3 percentage point to 5.7 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +19,500 in November, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The preliminary report for October monthly payrolls was revised from +40,900 to +42,000 jobs. The October unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 6.0 percent.   

The November payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the November payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

In November, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+8,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+8,200), and Construction (+3,800). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: Professional and Business Services (-5,500), Other Services (-200), and Mining (-100).

“Today’s report reflects the continued positive trajectory of Illinois’ economy,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “IDES remains dedicated to connecting employers and jobseekers to build a stronger workforce across the state. As we head into the new year, we look forward to providing more ways for businesses and workers to connect through innovative resources such as Get Hired Illinois.”

"Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois is on the path toward economic recovery and is bringing back jobs in key industries like hospitality, transportation, and construction,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Our monthly labor reports continue to prove that our investments across Illinois in small businesses, workforce development, and capital development projects are stimulating the economy.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for November, which was 4.2 percent, down -0.4 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -2.4 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 8.1 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +230,200 jobs, with gains across nearly all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+94,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+41,600), and Professional and Business Services (+31,600).  Financial Activities (-1,100) was the only industry group that reported jobs losses. In November, total nonfarm payrolls were up +4.1 percent over-the-year in both Illinois and in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a -4.4 percent decrease to 354,200, and was down -29.0 percent over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up +0.3 percent over-the-month and up +1.3 percent over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

In May 2020, Governor Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a new one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 47,741 posted resumes with 161,768 available jobs.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

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Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry

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  • 1976-2020 seasonally adjusted labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The monthly historical revisions to state labor force estimates reflect new national benchmark controls, state working-age population controls, seasonal factors, as well as updated total nonfarm jobs and unemployment benefits claims inputs.  Illinois labor force data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking. For these reasons, the comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous news releases/materials may no longer be valid.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here.
  • Monthly 2016-2020 seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available here. “Other Services” include activities in three broad categories: personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.  Seasonally adjusted data for subsectors within industries are not available.

About the Department of Employment Security

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, employers, and job seekers with resources including Job Fairs and, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program.  To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit