Illinois unemployment at 9.2 percent in July, 7,100 jobs added

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — Illinois added 7,100 private-sector jobs in July and the unemployment rate was 9.2 percent, according to preliminary data released Aug. 15 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Illinois added 62,100 private-sector jobs compared to July 2012.

Three consecutive months of positive job numbers underscores the deliberate pace of our economic growth,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Three consecutive summers with an uptick in the unemployment rate here and elsewhere suggests a trend unrelated to job growth and merits watching.”

Employers posted more than 195,000 help-wanted ads in Illinois in July, the Conference Board stated. Nearly 80 percent were full-time positions.

Illinois has added 244,300 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 110,100); Education and Health Services (plus 57,100); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (plus 46,000). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 33,200.

Volatility has been the hallmark of this economic cycle. When compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 31 months and job loss in 12. Unemployment fell in 24 months, increased in nine and was unchanged in 10. Sustained consumer confidence could reduce volatility.

The three-month moving average unemployment rate, which smoothes monthly volatility, was unchanged at 9.2 percent in July. In July 2013, the number of unemployed individuals increased slightly for the second time since March, up 4,200 (plus 0.7 percent) to 604,700. Total unemployed has fallen 147,500 (minus 19.6 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. In July, the national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

The Rockford metro area’s unemployment rate was 11 percent in June. Metro stats for July will be released Aug. 22.

Posted Aug. 15, 2013

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