Illinois unemployment rate falls to 7% in August


State of Illinois news release

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that the unemployment rate fell to 7% in August. 

By Aidan Bengford

DeKALB – The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday in a news release that the unemployment rate fell from 7.1% to 7% in August. 

The unemployment rate identifies individuals who are out of work and seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work, those not seeking work will not be reflected in the unemployment percentage.

In August, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: leisure and hospitality, with 5,800 added jobs, manufacturing, with 3,900 added jobs and government,  with 1,900 added jobs. 

The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines were: educational and health services,  with a decrease of 4,900, trade, transportation and utilities,  with a decrease of 2,300, and other services, with a decrease of 1,300. However trade, transportation and utilities employment numbers are much higher than it was this time last year, a total increase of 24,000 jobs in the field (including the -2,300 in the past month since one year ago. 

The state’s unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for August, which was 5.2%, last month the unemployment percentage for the country was 5.4%. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -4.1 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 11.1%.