April Unemployment hits
lowest point since 2008
Falls to 7.9 percent and
largest decline since 1976
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[May 21, 2014]
CHICAGO – The Illinois
unemployment rate hit a new five-year low in April when
it fell to 7.9 percent, according to data released today
by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois
Department of Employment Security. More people working
pushed the rate down 0.5 points, the lowest since
December 2008 and largest monthly decline in the history
of this data series which began in 1976.
“More people working is another sign that our economy is on the
rebound,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “As Illinois’ economy
continues to gain momentum, April’s numbers reflect more people
getting back to work and more employers adapting to the new national
In April 2014, the number of unemployed individuals fell -35,700
(-6.5 percent) to 516,000. Total unemployed has fallen -237,500
(-31.5 percent) since January 2010 when the rate peaked at 11.4
percent. The unemployment rate fell even though preliminary
estimates indicate 7,800 fewer private sector jobs in April and
29,300 more jobs than one year ago. The unemployment rate and job
creation numbers can move independently of each other because they
come from different surveys.
The unemployment rate is in line with other economic touch points.
First-time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four
years and at 48,697 in April are 20 percent lower than one year ago.
Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine
Survey show Illinois employers in April advertised for more than
200,000 jobs (201,500 seasonally adjusted) and 85 percent sought
Illinois employers added +249,600 private sector jobs since the low
point of employment in Illinois. Leading sectors are Professional
and Business Services (+114,600, +14.6 percent); Education and
Health Services (+55,900, +6.8 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality
(+38,000, +7.4 percent). Government (-25,600, -3.0 percent)
continues to lead job loss.
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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.
Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state
rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six
times since January 2000. This includes periods of economic
expansion and contraction.
[Text received; GREG RIVARA, ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY]
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-farm Jobs – by Major Industry
Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates
for years 2009-2013 have been revised as required by the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly
labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated
sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal
factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs.
Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a
result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey.
Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment
rate news release materials should be discarded because any
analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be
Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within
industries are not available. For not seasonally adjusted jobs
data with greater industry detail, go to
“Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three
broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance;
and religious, grant making, civic and professional
Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and
the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are