State unemployment falls to 8.7% -- lowest since 2009

May 17, 2012

The April unemployment rate in Illinois fell for the eighth consecutive month to reach8.7 percent, according to federal and state preliminary data released today.

The last time the unemployment rate was below 8.7 percent was February 2009, when it was 8.5 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

“April marks eight consecutive months of falling unemployment rates,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “In each of the past three months, Illinois has added, on average, 6,300 new jobs. Mild swings in the monthly data have been the hallmark of this recovery, and we expect that trend to continue.”

Illinois added just 100 private sector jobs in April, bringing the total to 140,700 since January 2010, when job growth returned after nearly two years of monthly losses.

Since January 2010, leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (77,100); Manufacturing (36,700); and Educational and Health Services (27,200). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down 23,500.

The number of unemployed individuals fell for the eighth consecutive month in April, decreasing by 9,600 (1.7 percent) to 571,500. Total unemployed has declined 181,300 (24.1 percent) since January 2010, when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent.