State’s Jobless Rate Falls Again

March 03, 2011

We have often discussed the correlation between the Chicago real estate market’s recovery and the state’s unemployment rate, and today we have good news on the latter.

The Illinois unemployment rate fell for its 12th straight month in January to 9 percent. That rate, which is a 0.2 percent drop from December’s revised rate of 9.2, now equals the national average.

The last time Illinois’ unemployment rate dipped below 9 percent was in February 2009, and if the current trend continues, the next time will be in February 2011.

“Long-term trends of falling unemployment rates and rising job numbers continue and reflect a strengthening Illinois economy,” said Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Maureen O’Donnell.

“As Illinois continues to push through the effects of the national recession, slight up-and-down movement in monthly estimates of unemployment rates and job growth is to be expected.”

In January, about 599,400 Illinois residents were unemployed, approximately 14,000 less than in December, and the state added about 24,500 jobs.

We’ve come a long way in a year: January 2010 is when the state unemployment rate peaked at a massive 11.2 percent.

Since last January, Illinois has seen the biggest job growth in:

*Professional and Business Services: Up 27,400

*Educational and Health Services: Up 21,400

*Trade, Transportation and Utilities: Up 15,400

*Manufacturing: Up 10,900

Can’t wait to report on February’s numbers. Let’s hope for that number to dip under 9 percent.

Categories: Economy

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