Illinois Sees Largest Recorded Three-month Drop in Unemployment Ever

CHICAGO - The Illinois unemployment rate fell in June for the fourth consecutive month to reach 7.1% after employers added 6,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

However, the same report shows the state's manufacturing sector is continuing to shed jobs, losing 1500 jobs in the past month alone, and nearly 1000 jobs per month over the past year.

The combined April-June reduction of 1.3 points in the unemployment rate is the largest three-month drop since this data series began in 1976. The last time the unemployment rate was lower was October 2008 when it was 7.0 percent according to IDES.

“Today’s numbers remind us that as our economy improves, more still needs to be done.” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a news release. “We need to continue to create job-training opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed so they can share in our growing economy.”

IDES reports that the unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in June were 6 percent lower than one year ago. First time claims in June also were at the lowest monthly level since 2007. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in June advertised for more than 212,800 jobs (203,500 seasonally adjusted) and 86 percent sought full-time work.

One surprise was a surge in Government jobs after a long decline. There have been more than 22,000 government jobs lost since the height of the recession, but 6100 added in the past year, including 800 in June.

A copy of the IDES news release is included above.

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