Illinois March, 2013 Unemployment Rate Holds at 9.5 Percent

Job Growth Up Over Year Yet Down Over Month

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–April18, 2013.  The March unemployment rate was 9.5 percent, unchanged from February, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). As expected, Illinois recorded -17,800 fewer jobs compared to February even as it added +36,600 over March 2012. The data is seasonally adjusted.

“Illinois employers were expected to report fewer positions in March. Economic uncertainty nationally and abroad dampened our country’s job growth. When that happens, Illinois’ share tends to be a negative number,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “Monthly snapshots capture a moment in time. When those moments are evaluated together, we see progress away from a global recession and through a stubborn economic growth cycle marked by volatile swings in monthly data here and across our country.”

The three-month moving average of job growth, a data point that smoothes monthly volatility and unpredictable or one time events, shows +1,100 jobs added each month so far this year.

Illinois has added +218,500 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+89,300); Education and Health Services (+57,800); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+37,000). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -26,500.

In March 2013, the number of unemployed individuals increased slightly +1,700 (+0.3 percent) to 629,200. Total unemployed has fallen -123,000 (-16.4 percent) since early 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.3 percent for the months of January and February.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

Continuing the post-recession trend, a greater portion of Illinoisans participate in the labor market and have active job searches than the national average. Recent job growth also has encouraged more people to look for work, especially those who gave up during the national recession. Individuals who re-start their work search again appear in the unemployment rate, which prevents the rate from falling as quickly as one would expect given job creation.

Source: illinois.gov