As COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the U.S., the Labor Department reported this morning that 1.3 million more Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week, the 16th week in a row that the figure has topped one million. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had been expecting 1.5 million claims. The latest numbers reflect the continued strain on the economy caused by a pandemic wreaking havoc around the world. Almost 50 million people have now filed for unemployment benefits over the past 16 weeks, representing the biggest jobs loss in U.S. history.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.7 percentage point to 14.6 percent, while nonfarm payrolls added +142,800 jobs in June, a record monthly increase, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The May monthly change in payrolls was revised downward from the preliminary report, from +62,200 to +59,600 jobs. The May unemployment rate was revised upward from the preliminary report, from 15.2 percent to 15.3 percent.
The June payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the June payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.
The state’s unemployment rate was +3.5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for June, which was 11.1 percent, down -2.2 percentage points from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +10.6 percentage points from a year ago when it was 4.0 percent.
In June, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+58,700), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+40,800) and Education and Health Services (+24,600). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Government (-19,000), Financial Activities (-1,700) and Mining (-800).
“Safely and deliberately reopening our economy amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic remains a top priority for the administration. Governor Pritzker’s recently announced mitigation plan to prevent a resurgence of cases in Illinois not only aims to keep residents safe and healthy, but to also ensure our economy can continue on its path to recovery,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “We remain committed to providing tools for recovery to working families and small businesses as we navigate through the state’s reopening plan.”
“Today’s report shows that while Illinois has started to see positive indicators of a turnaround in unemployment and a return in jobs, we still have more work to do,” said Michael Negron, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “To get our economy back on track, the Pritzker administration is redoubling our commitment to programs that will help residents, small businesses, and communities hit hardest by the economic burdens of COVID-19. While the duration of the crisis cannot be known, the State importantly continues to prioritize public health and mitigation of the virus that will help enable a faster economic recovery, and help more Illinoisans return to work.”
Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -598,300 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs decreases were: Leisure and Hospitality (-221,800), Professional and Business Services (-88,100) and Government (-69,000). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were down -9.8 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s -8.6 percent over-the-year decline in June.
The number of unemployed workers fell from the prior month, a -2.1 percent decrease to 946,400 but was up +266.3 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was up +2.9 percent over-the-month and +0.7 percent over-the-year. The unemployment rate identifies those 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.
221,800 leisure and hospitality jobs lost.
And while 946,400 people remain on unemployment here, Ohio, which has a similar population, has much less than half that: 429,638 continued claims.