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Illinois adds 13,800 jobs in September, unemployment rate falls to 8.8 percent

October 18, 2012

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — Illinois added 13,800 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell for the 10th time in the past 13 months to reach 8.8 percent, according to preliminary data released Oct. 18 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Today’s news is encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “What we don’t know is how federal decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will impact Illinois’ economy.”

Illinois added 157,200 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 83,100); Manufacturing (plus 41,200); and Educational and Health Services (plus 38,400). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 27,300.

September 2012 job gains were driven by Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality sectors. Although manufacturing declined by 2,600 in September, its growth rate continues to outpace gains in previous years. From January through September of this year, manufacturing has added 17,900 jobs, twice as strong as 2010 and almost three times as strong as 2011 for the same nine-month period.

In September 2012, the number of unemployed individuals fell 11,000 (minus 1.9 percent) to 582,600, the 10th monthly decline in 13 months. Total unemployed declined 170,200 (minus 22.6 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The rate was 10.1 percent one year ago.

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.

The Rockford metropolitan area’s unemployment rate was the highest in the state in August, at 11.7 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in August. September unemployment rates for the state’s metropolitan areas will be released Thursday, Oct. 25. The national October unemployment rate will be released Friday, Nov. 2, just days before the Nov. 6 General Election.

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 Oct. 18, 2012

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