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Statewide Unemployment Rate Down, Payroll Jobs Up in January

Announcement – Thursday, March 10, 2022

Contact: Will Gomberg | 312.793.9376
PDF Version

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell  -0.1 percentage point to 5.0 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +8,600 in January, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The preliminary report for December monthly payrolls was revised from +22,800 to +18,200 jobs. The preliminary December unemployment rate was revised from 5.3 percent to 5.1 percent. The January payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th.

In January, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were:  Professional and Business Services (+11,100), Manufacturing (+3,200), and Government (+1,500). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: Construction (-7,100), and Leisure and Hospitality (-1,600).  

“We are encouraged by the continued positive trajectory of Illinois’ economy in 2022,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “IDES is committed to building a strong and inclusive workforce system that meets the needs of both workers and employers. Job seekers and businesses are encouraged to visit Get Hired Illinois to connect with a wide array of resources available across the state.”

“Illinois’ employment trends continue to improve with notable growth in professional services and manufacturing jobs in January,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “DCEO remains focused on spurring economic recovery by continuing to develop our talented and diverse workforce, attract and retain businesses that create good-paying jobs, and invest in critical infrastructure needs.”

In January, the Illinois’ labor force participation rate, or the percentage of the working-age population that’s either employed or unemployed and seeking employment, was 1.5 percentage points higher than the U.S. labor force participation rate and is rising faster than in the US. That means more people are joining the workforce in Illinois than across the US. Over the previous year, the Illinois labor force participation rate increased by nearly twice the level of the national labor force participation rate, rising +1.4 percentage points, as compared to +0.8 percentage point in the nation.

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.0 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January, which was 4.0 percent, up +0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -2.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 7.1 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +256,100 jobs, with gains across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+122,300), Professional and Business Services (+50,600), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+28,000). In January, total nonfarm payrolls were up +4.5 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +4.6 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a -2.1 percent decrease to 317,600, and was down -28.5 percent over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up +0.6 percent over-the-month and up +1.7 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 IllinoisJobLink.com (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 45,703 posted resumes with 168,782 available jobs.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
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Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry
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  • Monthly 2017-2021 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, outlier specifications, 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 2017-2021 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.

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