Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — The unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent in May, and Illinois businesses added 11,800 private-sector jobs, according to preliminary data released June 20 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
The seasonally adjusted data nets May’s job growth at 5,600 when subtracting temporary job declines as schools go on summer break. Illinois added 54,900 private-sector positions compared to last year.
“The encouraging news of private-sector job growth shows Illinois businesses are warming to the idea of adding new positions,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell. “Growth in construction is particularly encouraging following a cold and wet spring. This year also illustrates the volatile nature of the unemployment rate. Up in January and February, unchanged in March, and then down again in April and May. This trend likely will continue as national and global events push consumer confidence.”
Illinois has added 227,600 private-sector jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (plus 98,800); Education and Health Services (plus 58,500); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (plus 34,700). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 30,600.
In May 2013, the number of unemployed fell 11,600 (minus 1.9 percent) to 599,200. Total unemployed has fallen 153,000 (minus 20.3 percent) since early 2010, when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.3 percent for the months of January and February.
The Rockford metro area’s unemployment rate was 9.9 percent in April, while the nationwide unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May. Metro area numbers for May will be released Thursday, June 27, while national data for June will be released Friday, July 5.
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 times of economic growth and recession.
Posted June 20, 2013