CHICAGO — Illinois added 16,400 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent, according to preliminary data released Dec. 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data are seasonally adjusted. One year ago, the November unemployment rate was 9.8 percent.
“November’s job growth is encouraging because it reinforces the trend of positive economic momentum,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The most immediate threat to that momentum is the fiscal cliff. If Congress does not work together to craft a solution, our economic progress will slow and we will risk another recession.”
Illinois added 174,600 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois following nearly two years of consecutive monthly losses. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (plus 84,800); Manufacturing (plus 45,100); and Education and Health Services (plus 42,000). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 28,800.
November 2012 job gains were driven by Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Professional and Business Services, and Manufacturing. The latter two industries not only led payroll growth in November, but also were the two strongest contributors to employment growth in 2012 thus far.
In November 2012, the number of unemployed individuals fell 6,600 (minus 1.1 percent) to 574,600, the 12th monthly decline in 15 months. Total unemployed declined by 178,200 (minus 23.7 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. 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 national unemployment rate was 7.7 percent in November, down from 8.7 percent in November 2011.
Locally, the Rockford metropolitan area’s unemployment rate was 10.8 percent in October, down from 12.6 percent in October 2011. November rates for the state’s 12 metro areas will be released Thursday, Dec. 27.
From the Dec. 26, 2012-Jan. 1, 2013, issue