Stagnant National Growth Squeezes Illinois Labor Market

Unemployment at 9.9 Percent; 3,100 Jobs Added in August

CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—September 16, 2011.  The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August increased to 9.9 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Illinois added +3,100 jobs in August, while nationally there was zero job growth because reductions in government employment offset private sector gains. The national unemployment rate for August was unchanged at 9.1 percent. 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.

“Consumer confidence drives our nation’s economy. That confidence was shaken by events at the national level,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “It is difficult for any state economy to establish positive momentum while the nation’s jobs growth picture remains sluggish.”

Illinois has added +36,300 jobs so far this year and +79,600 jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois after 23 consecutive months of declines. January 2010 also marked the plateau of the unemployment rate after 33 consecutive month-over-month increases. Since, the monthly unemployment rate has declined 15 times and increased four when compared to the previous month.

Since January 2010, leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+36,600); Educational and Health Services (+25,800); Manufacturing (+19,700); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+17,200). Compared to August 2010, employment in Illinois is up +42,400 led by Educational and Health Services (+14,800); Professional and Business Services (+11,800); and Manufacturing (+11,500).

In August 2011, unemployed individuals increased 25,400 (4.0 percent) to 653,000 compared to July. Total unemployed has declined -87,100 (-11.8 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.