Illinois Still Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic, Unemployment Rates Up Compared to Last Year

Sam Salustro | 312.550.1582 | Rebecca Cisco | 217.524.1219
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The number of nonfarm jobs decreased over-the-year in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas in August, with five metro areas at record low payrolls for that month, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The unemployment rate increased over-the-year in all metro areas and to record highs for the month of August in two metros. The official, BLS approved sub-state unemployment rate and nonfarm jobs series begins in 1990. Data reported prior to 1990 are not directly comparable due to updates in methodology.

“With the state’s COVID-19 mitigation plan in place, we are working hard to keep people safe while restoring confidence in and strengthening our economy,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes. “IDES is continuing to work tirelessly to support working families by connecting them to job training and workforce matching programs and ensuring benefits get to those impacted by this pandemic.”

The number of nonfarm jobs decreased in all fourteen Illinois metropolitan areas. Total nonfarm jobs were down in Peoria (-11.0%, -19,000), Elgin (-9.7%, -25,300) and Decatur (-8.4%, -4,300). In Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, jobs were down -7.6% (-291,600). No industry sector saw job gains in a majority of metro areas.

Not seasonally adjusted data compares August 2020 with August 2019. The not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 10.9 percent in August 2020 and the highest August unemployment rate since 1983, when it was 11.3 percent. The official, BLS approved, statewide unemployment rate series begins in 1976. Nationally, the not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in August 2020 and the highest August unemployment rate since 2011, when it was 9.1. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and seeking employment.

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan Area August 2020* August 2019** Over-the-Year Change
Champaign-Urbana 7.4%3.9%3.5
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights12.6%3.8%8.8
Danville 9.3%5.5%3.8
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL8.1%4.1%4.0
Decatur 11.2%5.4%
Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI8.3%3.9%4.4
St. Louis (IL-Section)8.6%4.1%4.5
Illinois Statewide10.9%4.0%6.9
* Preliminary  I  ** Revised    

Total Nonfarm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – August 2020    

Metropolitan Area August August Over-the-Year
  2020* 2019** Change
Bloomington MSA85,20091,400-6,200
Carbondale-Marion MSA54,20056,900-2,700
Champaign-Urbana MSA103,300107,900-4,600
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metro Division3,537,6003,829,200-291,600
Danville MSA25,90027,100-1,200
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA174,500189,300-14,800
Decatur MSA46,60050,900-4,300
Elgin Metro Division236,000261,300-25,300
Kankakee MSA44,10046,000-1,900
Lake-County-Kenosha County Metro Division390,600425,900-35,300
Peoria MSA153,500172,500-19,000
Rockford MSA138,900150,800-11,900
Springfield MSA104,200112,100-7,900
Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA227,400241,300-13,900
Illinois Statewide5,705,9006,143,200-437,300
*Preliminary | **Revised