Report: Illinois saw stable payroll jobs and a drop in unemployment in August

State News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Illinois’ unemployment dropped slightly while statewide payroll jobs remained stable in August, data showed,

Compared to August 2020, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported there are now more than 163,000 new jobs in the state. The industry groups that saw the largest jobs increases were:

  • Leisure and Hospitality (+59,100)
  • Professional and Business Services (+45,300)
  • Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+24,200) 

The industry groups that reported jobs losses were:

  • Financial Activities (-4,900)
  • Government (-1,700)

In August, total nonfarm payrolls were up +2.9 percent over the year in Illinois and +4.3 percent in the U.S.

The report showed the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 7.0 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were mostly unchanged, increasing by +2,500, in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The July monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +35,400 to +38,100 jobs. The July unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 7.1 percent.

Still, Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said the state is closely monitoring how an increase in COVID-19 cases could cause those numbers to slide in the wrong direction.

“The decreasing unemployment rate and continued job stabilization is encouraging in today’s report, especially as the state continues to monitor the increase of Covid-19 cases and the impact it may have on our communities,” Manar said. “IDES continues to assist those looking to return to the workforce, matching employers with jobseekers and providing other reemployment services and training to those seeking assistance.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 5.2 percent, down -0.2 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -4.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 11.1 percent.

“While today’s report demonstrates an ongoing, positive trend, too many Illinoisans continue to endure challenging economic times,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  “That’s why, under Gov. Pritzker’s leadership, we are redoubling our commitment to small business recovery, capital and workforce training assistance programs that will help our hardest hit communities and businesses get back on track.  Together, these efforts will support our continued recovery, return more Illinoisans to work, and give our economy the boost it needs.”

The number of unemployed workers fell from the prior month to 435,900 and was down -37.3 percent over the same month for one year ago. The labor force was up +0.2 percent over the month and was down -0.6 percent over the year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. Anyone who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois in May 2020, a new one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real-time. It features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes Illinois Job Link, the state’s largest job search engine, which recently showed 55,919 posted resumes with 144,405 available jobs.

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