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Illinois unemployment rate down slightly in January, but higher than national average

SPRINGFIELD (WEEK) — State government officials say the unemployment rate in Illinois dropped slightly in January .3 percentage points to 7.7%, but 9,700 non-farm jobs were added.

That’s according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which says the three industry sectors with the largest payroll decline in January were financial activities, with a loss of 6,400; construction, 3,200; and government, 1,800.

In that same month, the three industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment were: Professional and Business Services (+11,500), Leisure and Hospitality (+5,100), and Other Services (+2,400). 

“While the unemployment rate and job markets continue to be impacted by the ongoing  effects of COVID-19, with vaccination rates continuing to increase, we are focused on building a strong recovery on the other side of this pandemic,” said Deputy Governor Dan Hynes.  “This administration is fully committed to supporting individuals displaced from their jobs and ensuring small businesses and working families have the support they need to recover and grow in a post-pandemic economy.”

Compared to a year ago at this time, nonfarm paryoll employment is down 504,800 jobs, with losses across all industries.

Illinois’ unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points higher than the national rate for January.

The number of unemployed workers fell from the prior month, a -3.6 percent decrease to 473,000, and was up +114.0 percent over the same month for the prior year. The labor force was down -0.1 percent over-the-month and down -3.5 percent over-the-year. 

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