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Illinois adds 9,600 jobs in August, unemployment rate rises to 9.1 percent

September 20, 2012

Online Staff Report

Illinois added 9,600 jobs in August and the unemployment rate inched up 0.2 percentage points to 9.1 percent, according to preliminary data released Sept. 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

A pattern developed last year of slowing job growth in the summer months followed by lower unemployment rates after school re-opened in the fall,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “As we head into winter, the economic uncertainty caused by Congressional inaction threatens this recovery. Waiting to the last minute to make serious decisions unnecessarily undermines consumer and business confidence and hinders economic growth.”

Total private-sector employment grew by 9,000 jobs in August, boosted primarily by gains in Educational and Health Services and Leisure and Hospitality.

Although the entire Government sector added 600 jobs in August, Local Government added 1,300 because classes resumed after summer vacation.

Manufacturing employment gains remained steady (plus 700) and continued a more rapid growth rate in 2012 compared to previous year gains. From January through August of this year, manufacturing employment has expanded by 18,900 jobs.

Illinois added 151,200 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines.

Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (plus 75,000); Manufacturing (plus 44,900); and Educational and Health Services (plus 37,700). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 34,300.

In August 2012, the number of unemployed individuals increased 6,700 (plus 1.1 percent) to 593,800, the third monthly increase after nine consecutive monthly declines. Total unemployed declined 159,000 (a 21.1 percent drop) 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. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. Only six times since January 2000 has the Illinois rate been lower than the nation’s. That period includes times of economic expansion and contraction.

The nationwide unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in August. The Rockford metropolitan area’s unemployment rate, 11.8 percent, was the highest of the state’s metro areas in July. August unemployment rates for the state’s metro areas will be released Thursday, Sept. 27.

There are 120,000 help-wanted ads on Illinoisjoblink.com, 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 Sept. 20, 2012

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