CHICAGO–The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate decreased by -0.1 percentage point to 4.3 percent in May and nonfarm payrolls increased by +8,600 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The April job gain was revised down slightly from its initial report to show a smaller gain. (+2,500 jobs versus +4,700 jobs).
Job growth stabilized in the March to May period posting average monthly gains of +4,600 jobs over this three-month period, about the same as the 6-month average monthly gain of +4,500 jobs between December 2017 to May 2018.
“Through the first five months of the year, jobs are growing faster than each of the past two years,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “More than half of the year-to-date gain of nearly 28,000 jobs is coming from those sectors with higher-than-average wages.”
“Since Governor Rauner took office, Illinois has added 192,700 jobs and the unemployment rate has fallen 1.7 points,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “We’re seeing increases in job creation, retention, and investment due to the implementation of a pro-business climate. Our work certainly continues as we look to build upon these results to generate opportunity and success for all Illinoisans.”
In May, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were Education and Health Services (+3,500); Government (+2,600); and Financial Activities (+2,100). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Information services (-900) and Leisure and Hospitality (-800).
Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +60,200 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in May: Government (+13,800); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+11,100); and Financial Activities (+10,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines were: Information Services (-3,900) and Mining (-300). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in May, but it was the largest over-the-year gain in nearly a year.
The state’s unemployment rate is +0.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for May 2018, which dropped to 3.8 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -0.6 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.9 percent. The Illinois jobless rate last stood at 4.3 percent in September 2006.
The number of unemployed workers decreased -2.9 percent from the prior month to 278,800, down -12.2 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was about unchanged over-the-month, but it was up +0.1 percent over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment.
An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. To help connect jobseekers to employers who are hiring, IDES’ maintains the state’s largest job search engine, IllinoisJoblink.com (IJL), which recently showed 55,668 posted resumes with 200,555 jobs available.