Manufacturing drives private-sector July job growth in Illinois

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — Illinois added 800 private-sector jobs in July and the unemployment rate inched upward 0.2 to 8.9 percent, according to preliminary data released Aug. 16 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

A sharp decline in the government’s sector of local school jobs brings the net tally to 7,100 fewer positions in July than June.

Illinois’ private sector continues its deliberate job growth while government payrolls continue to shrink,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “This established trend likely will continue in the near term. The slight increase in the unemployment rate was expected given the increase nationally and last year’s established trend of slower economic growth during the summer.”

Leading growth sectors were Trade, Transportation and Utilities; Professional and Business Services; and Manufacturing.

Manufacturing growth accelerated rapidly in 2012 compared with 2011 gains. Over the year, manufacturing sector employment is up 22,400. Local schools reported 6,500 fewer jobs in July than June. Overall, local government was down 7,900 in July.

Illinois added 140,400 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two consecutive years of monthly declines.

Since January 2010, leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (plus 76,000); Manufacturing (plus 44,600); and Educational and Health Services (plus 31,900). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 35,100.

Historically, the national unemployment rate (8.3 percent in July) is lower than the state rate. Only six times since January 2000 has the Illinois rate been lower than the national rate.

The Rockford metropolitan area had the highest unemployment rate (11.5 percent) of the state’s 12 metropolitan areas in June. July statistics will be released Thursday, Aug. 23.

In July 2012, the number of unemployed individuals in Illinois increased 15,100 (plus 2.6 percent) to 587,200, the second consecutive increase following nine monthly declines.

Total unemployed has declined 165,600 (minus 22 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 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.

There are 120,000 help-wanted ads on, the IDES employment website that links job seekers with employers. This no-cost, career resource allows individuals to create multiple résumés that emphasize different talents and allows businesses to search for specific skills. The keyword matching technology increases the likelihood of a successful new hire. Illinois JobLink emphasizes Illinois jobs, scrapes other commercial job boards, and compares favorably to private efforts that cost hundreds of dollars for a single advertisement.

Posted Aug. 16, 2012

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