More people resuming their job search and entering the workforce pushed the January 2013 unemployment rate to 9.0 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.
One year ago, the rate was 9.1 percent. Employers added 7,100 jobs in January 2013.
"An economic recovery naturally includes monthly up-and-down movement in the unemployment rate as individuals suspend and renew their job search," IDES Director Jay Rowell said. "As cuts from sequestration are implemented during the next few months, we will have a better idea on how federal fiscal policy will impact Illinois."
In January 2013, the number of unemployed individuals increased +22,900 (+4.0 percent) to 594,800. Total unemployed has fallen -157,400 (-20.9 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.