Illinois Maintains 4.8% Unemployment Rate, With 12,700 New Payroll Jobs in March

Illinois Maintains 4.8% Unemployment Rate, With 12,700 New Payroll Jobs in March

According to data issued by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged and payroll jobs increased in March, staying at 4.8 percent, the same as in February. According to preliminary data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which can be seen on the IDES website, employment in the Land of Lincoln increased by 12,700 nonfarm jobs.

Significant job growth occurred in industries such as government, which created 3,300 positions, leisure and hospitality, which added 2,900 jobs, and trade, transportation, and utilities, which increased by 2,400 jobs. In contrast, sectors such as Financial Activities and Mining experienced a reduction in payroll roles, losing 1,100 and 100 jobs, respectively.

Deputy Governor Andy Manar emphasized the good results, noting, “Growth in payroll jobs throughout industry sectors continues to fuel the strength of the Illinois labor market and statewide economy,” pointing directly to the expanding opportunities for Illinois’ workforce.

While the local unemployment rate remained stable, it was reported to be 1.0 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate, which stood at 3.8% in March. The difference between the state and national unemployment rates is significant, even though Illinois’ rate has only increased by 0.6 percentage points from the previous year, when it was 4.2 percent. This suggests a moderate but steady increase in joblessness within the state’s borders.

The year-over-year job numbers are mixed, with Illinois experiencing improvements in most industrial areas, including government (30,100 jobs) and private education and health services (24,000 positions).

In contrast, sectors such as Professional and Business Services lost 37,600 jobs, while Information lost 6,500 posts. Despite these losses, DCEO Director Kristin Richards expressed optimism for the future, stating that “continued growth in payroll jobs serves as a testament to Illinois companies continuing to invest in our communities and workforce,” indicating confidence in the state’s economic direction.

However, the number of unemployed workers in Illinois has allegedly grown to 312,200, representing a 1.1 percent increase from the previous month and a staggering 15.5 percent increase over the same month last year.

This shows that, while jobs are being generated and the labor force is growing at a modest 0.1 percent per month and 1.2 percent per year, not all Illinois residents are benefiting from the alleged economic boom. Furthermore, the IDES continues to connect job seekers with companies through job fairs and Illinois JobLink, the state’s largest employment search engine, which currently has 59,280 resumes and 92,511 job opportunities.

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