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Illinois Payroll Jobs Up, Unemployment Rate Down in January

Press Release - Thursday, March 09, 2023

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 4.5 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +14,300 in January, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The December monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from -800 to -4,800 jobs. The December revised unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, down -0.1 point from the preliminary unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. The January payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

In January, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment included: Government (+7,900), Leisure and Hospitality (+6,300), and Educational and Health Services (+1,900). The industry sectors with monthly payroll declines included: Information (-900), Professional and Business Services (-900), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-500), and Other Services (-500).

"Today's data is an encouraging start to the new year as Illinois' recovery continues to trend in the right direction statewide," said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. "IDES remains committed to assisting jobseekers and employers with the resources they need to find new, expanded opportunities to participate in the state's labor market."

"While working to bolster economic development across the state, Illinois continues to make steady progress with decreased unemployment rates and increased job growth," said DCEO Acting Director Kristin A. Richards. "DCEO will remain a steadfast partner for Illinoisans by investing in workforce development while attracting and retaining the businesses that fuel our state's economy."

The state's unemployment rate was +1.1 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for January, which was 3.4 percent, down -0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was down -0.3 percentage point from a year ago when it was at 4.8 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +163,900 jobs, with gains across all major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases included: Leisure and Hospitality (+44,700), Educational and Health Services (+38,100), and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+24,000). In January, total nonfarm payrolls were up +2.8 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +3.3 percent in the nation.

The number of unemployed workers was 294,300, down -1.0 percent from the prior month, and -4.7 percent over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged (0.0 percent) over-the-month and 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.

In May 2020, Governor Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a new one-stop-shop website to help connect job seekers with hiring employers in real time. The site features virtual job fairs, no-cost virtual training, and includes (IJL), the state's largest job search engine, which recently showed 54,356 posted resumes with 126,692 available jobs.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Jobs - by Major Industry

  • Monthly 2018-2022 seasonally adjusted labor force data for Illinois, and all other states, have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The monthly historical revisions to state labor force estimates reflect new national benchmark controls, state working-age population controls, outlier specifications, seasonal factors, as well as updated total nonfarm jobs and unemployment benefits claims inputs. Illinois labor force data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) and national benchmarking. For these reasons, the comments and tables citing unemployment rates in previous news releases/materials may no longer be valid.
  • Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division are available here.
  • Monthly 1990-2022 seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment data for Illinois have been revised. To control for potential survey error, the estimates are benchmarked annually to universal counts derived primarily from unemployment insurance tax reports.
  • Not seasonally adjusted jobs data with industry detail are available here. "Other Services" include activities in three broad categories: personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations. Seasonally adjusted data for subsectors within industries are not available.

About the Department of Employment Security
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) provides vital employment services to Illinois workers, employers, and job seekers with resources including Job Fairs and, analyzes and disseminates actionable Labor Market Information, and administers the Unemployment Insurance Program. To see the full range of services provided by IDES, and for the latest news concerning the department, visit

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