Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — Illinois added 5,900 private-sector jobs in August and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.2 percent, according to preliminary data released today, Sept. 19, by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Illinois added 64,800 private-sector jobs compared to August 2012.
“Job growth without a corresponding drop in the unemployment rate indicates employers are willing to hire if they find a very good, very qualified candidate,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Adding jobs without lowering the unemployment rate underscores the uneven nature of this economy and could continue, depending how national and global events shape business plans and consumer confidence.”
Employers posted 197,000 help-wanted ads in Illinois in August, the independent Conference Board stated. Nearly 70 percent were full-time positions.
Illinois has added 251,000 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 (up 110,400); Education and Health Services (up 61,900); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (up 49,500). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 34,200.
Volatility has been the hallmark of this economic cycle. When compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 32 months and job loss in 12. Unemployment fell in 24 months, increased in nine and was unchanged in 11. Sustained consumer confidence could reduce volatility.
The three-month moving average unemployment rate, which smoothes monthly volatility, was unchanged at 9.2 percent in August. The number of unemployed individuals decreased in August for the first time since May, down 2,500 (0.4 percent) to 602,000. Total unemployed has fallen 150,200 (20 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.
Posted Sept. 19, 2013