National Instability Causes Bump in Job Recovery in Illinois

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–August 18, 2011.  The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July increased to 9.5 percent as 24,900 fewer jobs were reported, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data reflects uncertainty in consumer confidence and the volatility associated with data management.

July is the third consecutive month to record an increase in the unemployment rate following 15 consecutive months of declines. Including the preliminary job loss, Illinois has added 28,900 jobs so far this year and 72,200 jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned to Illinois after 23 consecutive months of declines.

“This preliminary data reflects the recent volatility in the national economy and the uncertainty both in the labor force and business community,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Although monthly data fills our need for immediacy, long-term data tells a more accurate story.”

Uneven monthly reports of job growth and unemployment rates are common in a typical recovery. However, to ensure more reliable national statistics, federal authorities earlier this year implemented methodological changes to data estimation that reduces input from individual states. As a result, there have been greater fluctuations in monthly jobs and employment data at the state level. How those changes might be reflected in July’s data will not be known for several months. Most private economists agree that the recovery from the national recession will continue, but at a more gradual pace in the second half of the year.

The uneven progress is evident in the job growth numbers. Since January 2010, Illinois has added, on average, about 3,800 jobs each month. In the first half of this year, Illinois added about 9,000 jobs each month. By contrast, during the national recession, Illinois lost, on average, 18,000 jobs each month.

Since January 2010 when Illinois employment resumed after the national recession, Illinois has added +72,200 net new jobs. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+34,200); Educational and Health Services (+26,000); Manufacturing (+20,000); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+16,000).  Compared to last year, Manufacturing employment is up +11,300 over its July 2010 level.

In July, the number of unemployed individuals increased 24,300 (4.0 percent) to 627,800. Total unemployed has declined -112,300 (-15.2 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.2 percent. The unemployment 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 nearly 60 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.