Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low, But Remains Above National Rate

Illinois Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low, But Remains Above National Rate

ILLINOIS (IRN) — Illinois continues to see a trend of record-low unemployment levels statewide, but the state’s unemployment rate remains above the national average.

The unemployment rate in Illinois in November dropped to 3.8 percent. That’s below the 3.9 percent unemployment rate in October. The drop in unemployment continues a trend of record-setting low unemployment for the state. This is the third consecutive month of record-low unemployment in Illinois.

The national unemployment rate for November was 3.5 percent. The unemployment rate in Illinois was 4.3 percent one year ago. The national unemployment rate a year ago was 4.3 percent.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security released the latest nonfarm payroll numbers this week.

IDES spokesman Sam Salustro said year-to-year job growth in Illinois continues to be a factor in the low unemployment numbers.

“Compared to last year we’ve grown over 40,000 jobs,” Salustro said. “Our labor force has grown, which means that more people are entering the workforce.”

Over the past year, the biggest gains were in the leisure and hospitality, educational and health services industries. Other sectors have seen declines in the number of jobs over the past 12 months. The construction sector was hit the hardest, losing 4,000 jobs from November 2018 to November 2019.

The total number of unemployed workers in Illinois also hit a record low. Numbers provided by IDES show a drop in unemployed workers from October to November of 2 percent to 246,000. The total number of unemployed workers was down 10.8 percent over the past year.

With a record number of people finding employment in Illinois, some employers face challenges filling job openings.

The restaurant industry has struggled to find enough workers.

Illinois Restaurant Association President and CEO Sam Toia said the historically low unemployment “certainly adds to the challenges that restaurants face in attracting and retaining talent.” He said it created a need for more aggressive recruitment.

“Restaurants are finding ways to enhance their benefits – whether providing health insurance, paid time off, advanced training (like wine or better certifications) and more,” Toia said in a statement.

The unemployment rate identifies people who are out of work and seeking employment.

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