IL unemployment increased in December

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Unemployment rate at 7.6 percent in December

Information provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (January 22, 2021) – The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that the unemployment rate increased +0.7 percentage point to 7.6 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were nearly unchanged, down -2,500 jobs in December, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The November monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from -20,000 to -16,200 jobs. The November unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, holding at 6.9 percent.

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

The state’s unemployment rate was +0.9 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for December, which was 6.7 percent, unchanged from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +3.9 percentage points from a year ago when it was 3.7 percent.

In December, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+13,000), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+10,100), and Construction (+8,300). The industry sectors that reported the monthly payroll declines were: Leisure and Hospitality (-40,900), Information (-1,300), and Other Services (-800).

“The administration remains focused on continuing to support claimants and their families through the pandemic’s ongoing impact on our economy,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “This includes standing up new unemployment programs enacted through federal legislation, ensuring claimants get the help they need to process their claims, and rebuilding our economy in the weeks and months ahead to ensure working families get the opportunities they deserve.”

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -423,300 jobs, with losses across nearly all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (-198,100), Educational and Health Services (-58,300) and Government (-48,700). The only industry group with an over-the-year jobs increase was Construction (+1,000). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down -6.9 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s -6.2 percent over-the-year decline in December.

The number of unemployed workers rose from the prior month, a +9.5 percent increase to 466,200 and was up +97.4 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was up +0.1 percent over-the-month and down -4.1 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, 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 Illinois Job Link (IJL), the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 43,352 posted resumes with 91,765 available jobs.

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