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May’s state unemployment rate 22 percent higher than national average

Thursday, Jun 17, 2021

* For all my adult life, Illinois has lagged the nation in recovering from recession. This is no different, but it needs to be a much higher priority now that the state is getting itself on more sound fiscal footing…

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate remained at 7.1 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were down -7,900 in May, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The April monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, up slightly from +300 to +1,600 jobs. The April preliminary unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 7.1 percent.

The May payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflects activity for the week including the 12th. The BLS has published FAQs for the May payroll jobs and the unemployment rate.

In May, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Leisure and Hospitality (+6,300), Manufacturing (+2,000) and Educational and Health Services (+1,900). The industry sectors that reported the largest monthly payroll declines were: Government (-10,000), Construction (-5,600) and Financial Activities (-1,300).

“With the move to Phase 5 last week, Illinois is positioned to fully reopen and restore industries impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “IDES will continue to support claimants while focusing on assisting employers and jobseekers to reconnect dislocated workers to the workforce.”

“Illinois is on the path to recovery, as evidenced by last week’s reopening of all sectors of the economy, and by steady improvements seen by key industries in monthly labor reports this year,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, we are working alongside lawmakers and leaders across numerous industries to lay a strong foundation for a recovery that will support us all. In the coming months, we’ll deploy additional economic relief included in the State’s recently passed budget that helps heavily impacted industries fully reopen, prepares more individuals to return to work and accelerates a recovery for all our communities.”

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for May, which was 5.8 percent, down -0.3 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -8.3 percentage points from a year ago when it was at 15.4 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +390,600 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases were: Leisure and Hospitality (+137,400), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+97,000) and Professional and Business Services (+52,500). The industry groups with jobs losses were: Financial Activities (-1,700) and Mining (-200). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +7.3 percent over-the-year as compared to the nation’s +8.9 percent over-the-year growth in May.

The number of unemployed workers fell slightly from the prior month, a -0.4 percent decrease to 436,800, and was down -53.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was up +0.2 percent over-the-month and about unchanged (0.0 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - anon - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 12:28 pm:

    Workers’ Comp, Tort reform, property taxes, union mandated employment, no pension reform–eliminating tax incentives that every state in the union provides to corporations–someday dems will realize you can’t have employees without employers.


  2. - Zagreb - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 12:37 pm:

    == union mandated employment,==
    Where? Nobody is mandated to join a union.
    ==no pension reform==
    It was reformed a decade ago.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 12:43 pm:

    === no pension reform===

    If you’re using this as an excuse, you are utterly clueless to what it actually means.

    It was impressive, all the Wirepoints silly in one sentence.

    To the post,

    The lagging isn’t as critical as much as the gearing up towards the economy and employment needing a full recovery after Covid.


  4. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:04 pm:

    Moms and Dads will trouble going back to work as long as their children can’t get vaccinated.


  5. - The Dude Abides - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:32 pm:

    The unemployment rate will decrease by fall when unemployment benefits end, count on it. There are a lot of help wanted signs in Springfield.


  6. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:35 pm:

    Our economy will continue to lag because of the terrible policy to borrow more money to pay enhanced unemployment to able bodied, vaccinated people for the rest of the summer


  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===able bodied, vaccinated people for the rest of the summer===

    And moms with kids who can’t find or afford daycare. And those who can’t find work in their field. And…


  8. - 4 percent - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    End the waiver, Governor. Individuals should be required to look for work in order to get benefits.


  9. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:46 pm:

    Was thinking about this the other day. Would the number of fraudulent claims show up in these numbers as “unemployed” folks?


  10. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    ===able bodied, vaccinated people===

    Whom I recall you stated should feel “grateful” to have jobs, at least on one occasion.

    Your Mr. Potter employment thoughts are… well, “hogwash” as Potter might say.


  11. - Tasker - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 2:11 pm:

    Workers’ Comp, Tort reform, property taxes, union mandated employment, no pension reform–eliminating tax incentives that every state in the union provides to corporations–someday dems will realize you can’t have employees without employers.

    Rauner fault!


  12. - Fly like an eagle - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 2:37 pm:

    == Rauner fault!==
    The Rauner post is somewhere else. Try “Attorney informs…”


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 17, 21 @ 3:11 pm:

    - Tasker -

    Ya know…

    Merely repeating the ridiculousness that is - anon - is still ridiculous… so you can mouth breath “Rauner” to own… someone…

    I do hope you feel better.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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