November Unemployment Falls to 9.6 Percent

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The Illinois unemployment rate fell again in November even as more people entered the labor force to look for work.

The seasonally adjusted rate fell for the eighth consecutive month, dropping -0.2 to 9.6 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The November national unemployment rate increased +0.2 to 9.8 percent. This is the first month since January 2007 that the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen below the U.S. rate.

“Falling unemployment rates even as more people look for work is another encouraging sign that the Illinois economy is moving forward,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said.

Preliminary industry data indicates a slight contraction of -2,600 total non-farm jobs in November. Slight up-and-down movement in preliminary data is not uncommon. The preliminary jobs data for October was revised upward from +8,000 to +11,600. In November, Illinois had +32,900 more jobs than November 2009, the third consecutive monthly year-over-year increase. So far this year, Illinois has added +54,700 jobs, a growth rate of 1.0 percent. The national growth rate is 0.7 percent. Job sectors leading Illinois’ growth trend are Professional and Business Services (+17,600); Educational and Health Services (+15,700); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+13,100); and Manufacturing (+9,600). The labor force in November was up +25,700 (+0.4 percent) over October to reach 6,666,800. The labor force has increased for three consecutive months.

The number of unemployed individuals was down for the eighth consecutive month, dropping -7,700 ( 1.2 percent) to 641,000, the lowest level since April 2009. Total unemployed has declined -123,800 ( 16.2 percent) since March 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.5 percent. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts unemployment insurance benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.