Workforce Partners FAQs

The frequently asked questions (FAQs) provided below highlight topics and specific questions that partners often ask IDES.​

  • How are national unemployment rates developed?

    ​National unemployment rates are developed through a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households known as the Current Population Survey. The Census Bureau collects data on the employment status of each working age resident (16 years and older) for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Individuals included in the survey are categorized as either employed, unemployed or not in the labor force.


  • How are people who exhaust their Unemployment Insurance benefits included in the unemployment statistics?

    ​Data on the number of unemployed who have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits is captured through a monthly household survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The household survey classifies as unemployed anyone who was without a job but available and actively looking for work sometime during the four week period ending with the reference week (usually the week including the 12th). This survey does not include a requirement or question related to UI benefits.​

  • When will unemployment rates for the next month be available?
    Please see our current monthly data release schedule at 2014 Schedule of Illinois, U.S. Release Dates.​​

  • Do you have statistics on union membership in Illinois?
    Yes, you can find annual data on union membership for Illinois at Characteristics of Employed and Unemployed.

  • How are unemployment rates calculated?
    The national unemployment rate is produced through a monthly household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statewide unemployment rate is not calculated directly from the national household survey because the sample size at the state level is too small to produce reliable estimates. Instead, statewide unemployment statistics are derived indirectly through BLS-designed time series models.

    Unemployment rates for metropolitan areas, counties and cities are developed through a complex, multi-step process that includes a variety of data inputs, such as total non-farm employment estimates, unemployment insurance claims, population and employment data from the Census Bureau and employment and unemployment controls used to adjust for groups not covered by the Unemployment Insurance system.


  • Where can I find information on the number of layoffs in Illinois?

  • Where can I find current unemployment rates for all areas including Illinois, metropolitan areas, counties and cities?

    ​The following page has unemployment rates for the most current, previous and year-ago months at Current Monthly Unemployment Rates​​. You can find in a single report current, previous and year-ago monthly unemployment rates for all areas at Monthly Unemployment Reports.