Illinois unemployment rate drops to 9.3 percent in April

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — The April unemployment rate fell to 9.3 percent from 9.5 percent in March, according to preliminary data released May 16 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). There were 2,000 fewer jobs over the month, yet 40,300 more jobs than one year ago.

April data reflects the unevenness of this recovery,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The up-and-down movement in the monthly figures masks the 216,000 jobs that have been added during this part of the economic cycle. This uneven path forward likely will continue until consumer and business confidence can be sustained at the national level.”

Illinois has added 216,000 private-sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Since, the monthly volatility has been significant. When compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 27 months and job loss in 13. The unemployment rate increased in seven months, fell in 13 and was unchanged in 10.

Leading growth sectors since January 2010 are Professional and Business Services (plus 91,600); Education and Health Services (plus 59,600); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (plus 37,600). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 24,700.

In April 2013, the number of unemployed individuals decreased by 18,000 (2.9 percent) to 611,000. Total unemployed has fallen 141,200 (18.8 percent) since early 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.3 percent for the months of January and February.

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. This includes periods of economic expansion and contraction.

The nationwide unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in April. The Rockford metro area’s unemployment rate was 11.8 percent in March. April unemployment rates for Illinois’ metro areas will be released Thursday, May 23.

Posted May 16, 2013

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