Illinois Adds 130,700 Private Sector Jobs Since Recovery

Unemployment Drops to 9.1 Percent, Sixth Consecutive Decline

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 22, 2012.  The Illinois unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month in February, dropping -0.3 to 9.1 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Illinois employers added +6,500 jobs during the month. The data is seasonally adjusted.

“February’s jobs number is another positive sign in Illinois’ economic recovery. Illinois continues its steady economic growth fueled by monthly increases in job creation and falling unemployment rates,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Our recovery is built upon consistent progress that can be seen month to month.”

Illinois has added +130,700 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois. Since January 2010, leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+67,800); Educational and Health Services (+31,300); Manufacturing (+28,600); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+12,800). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -25,900.

Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. Only six times since January 2000 has the Illinois rate been lower than the nation’s. That period includes times of economic expansion and contraction. In February 2012, the number of unemployed individuals fell for the sixth consecutive month, decreasing -21,500 (-3.5 percent) to 598,600. Total unemployed has declined -154,200 (-20.5 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

The IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through more than 45 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.

Please note that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics requires revisions to monthly employment and labor force data. The revisions occur each February based upon updated Census data, unemployment insurance inputs and seasonal factors. Data and analysis distributed prior to March 1, 2012 should be discarded.