CHICAGO- The December 2012 unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.7 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The data is seasonally adjusted. One year ago, the December rate was 9.7 percent. Total payrolls decreased -7,600 in December 2012, nearly one-third of which were temporary layoffs with return-to-work dates in January, 2013.
"Illinois' long-term trend is that of moderate growth punctuated by monthly up-and-down movement in the unemployment rate and the number of people working," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "This positive trend still is threatened by Congress and its continuing deliberations on the debt ceiling and the fiscal cliff."
Illinois added +167,000 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 (+79,500); Education and Health Services (+43,600); and Manufacturing (+39,800). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -30,700.
In December 2012, the number of unemployed individuals increased +1,700 (+0.3 percent) to 576,600. Total unemployed declined -176,200 (-23.4 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.4 percent.
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.