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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2011

Unemployment Rate Falls to 8.8 Percent in March
14th Consecutive Month the Rate has Improved

CHICAGO – The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell for the 14th consecutive month, dropping -0.1 to 8.8 percent in March, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This is the lowest unemployment rate reported since February 2009 when it was 8.6 percent. The national rate also fell -0.1 to 8.8 percent in March.  The Illinois rate has been equal to or below the U.S. rate for six consecutive months.

“The Illinois labor market continues to demonstrate solid signs of a jobs recovery. Not since December 1994 has our state recorded such consistent declines in the unemployment rate,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said. “Even though slight up-and-down movement in job creation and unemployment remain possible in this stage of the recovery, the long-term data show Illinois is moving in a positive direction.”

The seasonally adjusted payroll employment estimate for March increased +1,700. The three-month moving average of payroll employment gain of +15,400 for January through March is more indicative of the current job market. The three-month context better depicts trends in the labor market as evidenced by improvements in other measures such as increasing on-line job advertising and falling initial unemployment claims. Additionally, federal changes in data estimation beginning in March might cause larger fluctuations in monthly payroll estimates.

Since January 2010 when Illinois employment resumed after the national recession, Illinois has added +89,500 new jobs. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+38,900); Educational and Health Services (+24,800); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+21,800); and Manufacturing (+9,900). That represents a 1.6 percent job growth, compared to the nation’s 1.2 percent.

In March, the number of unemployed individuals fell for the 14th consecutive month, dropping -6,200 (-1.1 percent) to 582,100, the lowest level since February 2009. Total unemployed has declined -158,000 (-21.3 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.2 percent. 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.

The IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through nearly 60 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

 

 
March
2011
February
2011
March
2010
3-Month
Moving Avg.
Illinois
8.8%
8.9%
11.0%*
8.9%
U.S.
8.8%
8.9%
9.7%*
8.9%
* Revised

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs – by Major Industry

Industry Title
March
2011*
February
2011**
 
March
2010**
Over the Month Change
Over the Year
Change
3-Month
Moving Avg.
Change from
Previous
3-Month
Mov. Avg.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Non-farm     
5,670,000
5,668,300
5,593,400
1,700
76,600
5,662,100
15,400
Mining
9,400
9,600
8,800
-200
600
9,500
0
Construction     
201,500
201,300
204,000
200
-2,500
201,200
3,300
Manufacturing    
563,100
563,700
555,800
-600
7,300
563,600
900
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities
1,140,600
1,136,000
1,121,100
4,600
19,500
1,137,600
5,300
Information      
98,200
99,200
102,500
-1,000
-4,300
99,200
-800
Financial Activities
354,500
355,800
363,000
-1,300
-8,500
355,600
-1,200
Professional and Business Services
819,200
818,000
789,000
1,200
30,200
816,000
3,200
Educational and Health Services
846,500
848,300
826,000
-1,800
20,500
845,800
800
Leisure and Hospitality
526,200
528,000
512,900
-1,800
13,300
525,200
2,200
Other Services   
261,200
259,400
255,300
1,800
5,900
259,000
2,300
Government        
849,600
849,000
855,000
600
-5,400
849,300
-800
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                              * Preliminary                    ** Revised
 

Notes:


• Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2006-2010 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.
• Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.  For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go to http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/cesfiles/cescurrent.htm.
• “Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.
• Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at:  http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/laus/icmaur.htm.

 



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