Unemployment Falls Ninth Consecutive Month to 8.6 Percent

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The unemployment rate fell for the ninth consecutive month to reach 8.6 percent in May, according to preliminary data released today by the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted. The last time the May rate was  below 8.6 percent was February 2009 when it was 8.5 percent. Illinois non-farm payroll employment edged lower by 1,800 jobs.

“Job gains early in the year followed by a temporary soft-patch in hiring in the spring and summer is to be expected given emerging trends in the national and state economy.” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “These long-term trends also show an economy that is improving despite up-and-down movement in the monthly job report.”

Non-farm payroll employment decreased slightly in May after strong gains in the first quarter. The three-month moving average, which smoothes monthly volatility, shows Illinois added 1,700 jobs in the period.

Illinois added +136,300 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois after nearly two years of monthly losses. Since January 2010, leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+69,500); Manufacturing (+40,700); and Educational and Health Services (+29,700). Government has lost the most jobs, down -23,800.

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 nation’s. That period includes times of economic expansion and contraction.

In May, the number of unemployed individuals fell -6,900 (-1.2 percent) to 564,400, the ninth consecutive drop. Total unemployed has declined -188,400 (-25.0 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent. The 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 more than 45 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.


• Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2007-2011 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 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


• “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: .