Government jobs loss pushes Illinois unemployment up to 8.9%

Aug 16, 2012

Although Illinois added 800 private-sector jobs in July, a sharp decline in local school jobs brought the net tally to 7,100 fewer positions in July than June. That helped the unemployment rate inch upward 0.2 points to 8.9 percent.

Seasonally adjusted preliminary data was released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

"Illinois' private sector continues its deliberate job growth, while government payrolls continue to shrink," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "The slight increase in the unemployment rate was expected given the increase nationally and last year's established trend of slower economic growth during the summer."

Manufacturing growth accelerated rapidly in 2012 compared with 2011 gains. Over the year, manufacturing sector employment is up 22,400. Local schools reported 6,500 fewer jobs in July than June. Overall, local government was down 7,900 in July.

Illinois has added 140,400 private sector jobs since January 2010 following nearly two years of monthly declines. Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 35,100.

Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. Only six times since January 2000 has the Illinois rate been lower than the national rate.

In July 2012, the number of unemployed individuals increased 15,100, up 2.6 percent to 587,200, the second consecutive increase following nine monthly declines.

Total unemployed has declined 22.0 percent since January 2010 to 165,600. This group includes 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.