Illinois Jobless Rate Declined Slightly In February

There were 39,013 people reported as employed in the county during February, representing an increase of 160 jobs since January, and 1,178 jobs in the past 12 months.

The state Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the jobless rate stood at 4.4 percent - still hovering around its lowest point since the early 2000s. Employment was up by 19,092 and the number of unemployed decreased by 110. Lang says there were 53,000 more jobs in February 2017 compared to February of previous year. During the past year, non-agricultural employment in the state grew by 2,100 jobs to 1,682,400. As a result of these gains, IL now has 6,055,000 payroll jobs, breaking the previous peak from September 2000. In February 2016, the unemployment rate was also 5.5%.

The state saw a gain of 4,400 private-sector jobs during the month.

Boosts in Iowa's financial, trade and transportation, and business services industries have helped bring the state's unemployment rate to its lowest level in about 16 years.

The manufacturing sector added 500 jobs, while educational and health services sector had 700 more jobs in Merced County than they did a year ago.

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Many of these added jobs are the result of seasonal hires as employers strive to reach their payroll budgets for the year.

The counties with the highest February unemployment rates were Wilcox County at 14.9 percent, Clarke County at 11.2 percent and Lowndes County at 10.7 percent.

"We've seen gains in sectors of the economy that rely on consumer and household spending more than anywhere else", he said. This is fueled by hiring in private education with added the majority of the jobs, 1,300. The industries in this sector include traditional publishing as well as software publishing; motion pictures/broadcasting; and telecommunications.

"The state's labor market continued to expand in February 2017".

  • Ronnie Bowen