Illinois' unemployment rate remained at 5 percent in September despite the state losing nearly 11,000 nonfarm jobs, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported recently.
The figures were based on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics.
Illinois has continued to see below-average job growth compared with the rest of the country. The average decline was 4,200 jobs every month from July to September. From April to September, Illinois saw an average loss of 400 jobs per month.
The national unemployment rate in September was 4.2 percent, putting Illinois nearly a full percentage point higher than the average. Nonfarm payrolls increased 0.1 percent over the year from last September in Illinois, but the national rate was 1.2 percent.
“The Illinois economy continues to sputter.” IDES Director Jeff Mays said in a news release. “Moving one step forward and one step backward, as we have done this past number of months, does little to build the positive jobs momentum that most other states have built during this recovery.”
Illinois needs to take advantage of what it can offer to business in many industries, Sean McCarthy, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce, said in the news release.
“We must continue to market our exceptional assets while implementing reforms that boost our economy and make us competitive on a national stage,” he said.
Three industry sectors saw decreases of more than 3,000 jobs in September. The trade, transportation and services industry was down 4,200 jobs; education and health services fell by 3,400 jobs; and leisure and hospitality dropped 3,300 jobs.
Meanwhile, two industry sectors had gains of at least 1,000 jobs last month. Financial activities was up 3,600 jobs, and manufacturing rose by 1,100 jobs.
The state's jobless rate has improved by 0.8 percent from one year ago. The rate also is lower than that of January's 5.7 percent. The over-the-year gain in nonfarm employment is 3,700 jobs. The industries with the largest gains in that span were financial activities, with 12,000 jobs; education and health services, with 9,600 jobs; and professional and business services, with 8,000 jobs.
In the area of job losses, trade, transportation and utilities dropped 10,700 jobs in that span, with government shedding 7,100 jobs and construction dropping by 5,800 jobs.
Illinois had 321,700 unemployed workers in September, down 0.4 percent from August and 14.5 percent from September 2016.
The state's labor force was about the same from the previous month and down 1.3 percent from September 2016.
Those who are out of work and looking for jobs are identified in the jobless rate, as are people looking for work but who are not eligible for benefits or have run out of them.
IDES's job search engine, IllinoisJoblink.com, had 62,795 posted resumes and 179,994 jobs posted. It is the largest such engine for job searches in Illinois, the news release said.