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Illinois Payroll Jobs Increase, Unemployment Rate Up in December

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate increased +0.1 percentage point to 4.8 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased +1,200 in December, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and released by IDES. The November revised unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, unchanged from the preliminary November unemployment rate. The November monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +6,800 to +4,400 jobs. The December unemployment rate and payroll jobs estimate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.


In December, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month job gains included: Leisure and Hospitality (+3,300), Educational and Health Services (+1,700), and Government (+1,100). The industry sectors with the largest monthly payroll job declines included: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-4,900), Information (-1,200), and Other Services (-400).  


"Today's report adds the finishing touches on a year of strong, consistent job growth and continued accomplishments surrounding the stabilization of the state's labor market," said Deputy Governor Andy Manar.  "As we head into the new year, IDES remains committed to the services provided for workforce and employer opportunities and bridging the two together."


"Illinois continues to see positive economic growth as payroll jobs increase," said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. "DCEO remains committed to helping Illinois businesses and workers by providing a number of critical resources and opportunities designed to support Illinoisans and bolster the state's strong workforce." 


The state's unemployment rate was +1.1 percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for December. The national unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in December, unchanged from the previous month. The Illinois unemployment rate was up +0.2 percentage point from a year ago when it was 4.6 percent.

Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll jobs increased by +57,800 jobs, with gains across most major industries. The industry groups with the largest jobs increases included: Government (+35,500), Educational and Health Services (+29,900), and Leisure and Hospitality (+17,800). Professional and Business Services (-25,900), Information (-6,600) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-6,500) reported the largest declines in payroll jobs. In December, total nonfarm payrolls were up +0.9 percent over-the-year in Illinois and up +1.7 percent in the nation.


The number of unemployed workers was 310,200, up +1.3 percent from the prior month, and up +4.3% over the same month one year ago. The labor force was almost unchanged over-the-month and down -0.1 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.


In June 2020, Governor Pritzker launched Get Hired Illinois, a 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 54,859 posted resumes with 101,172 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, jobseekers, and employers with resources including Job Fairs,, and WorkShare IL, 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