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Illinois unemployment falls again

flickr cc/AlachuaCounty https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Unemployment fell slightly in Illinois last month. The July rate of 4.4 percent was down one tenth of a percent from June, which saw the lowest mark since the onset of the pandemic.

Compared to the rate a year ago — 6.2 percent — it shows the economy continues to rebound.

The industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment include: Professional and Business Services (+10,000), Manufacturing (+6,300), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+5,700). The industry sectors that reported monthly payroll declines include: Construction (-1,400) and Educational and Health Services (-1,400).

Illinois’ unemployment rate still lags behind the national average of 3.5 percent by nearly a full percentage point.

“After Illinois reached the lowest unemployment rate since the onset of the pandemic in June, it’s encouraging to see the state’s unemployment rate continue to drop while seeing continued growth in key industries,” said DCEO Director Sylvia I. Garcia. “Looking ahead, DCEO continues to focus on expanding equitable workforce training opportunities, providing incentives to companies who invest in Illinois’ workforce, and providing resources and training opportunities for job seekers.”

The number of unemployed workers was down from the prior month, a 1.1 percent decrease to 287,200 and was down 27.1 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged (0.0 percent) over-the-month and up 2.2 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.