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April 16, 2009

March Unemployment Rate Tops Nine Percent
Unemployment Benefits Extended

CHICAGO – The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March is 9.1 percent, the highest level since November 1985, according to data released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).  The March rate is +0.5 percent higher than February and the sixth consecutive month to record an increase.

Total non-farm payroll declined by –39,300 jobs in March 2009, the second largest over-the-month decrease on record (back to 1990).  In March, the number of unemployed people in Illinois increased to 596,000 (+27,400), the highest level reported since September 1983.

“As the recession continues, so do our efforts to improve customer service and to inform people about programs that assess an individual’s work skills so they can better prepare themselves when the economy turns around,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said. “We encourage workers to take advantage of this time by learning new skills and positioning themselves for better opportunities as this economy improves.”

Nationally, the total number of unemployed grew to 13.2 million in March. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 8.5 percent, its highest level in 25 years.  National payroll employment declined for the 15th consecutive month, dropping by -663,000 jobs and bringing total national job losses to -5.1 million since the recession began in December 2007.

In Illinois, the Manufacturing sector lost -14,200 jobs in March, its third largest over-the-month reduction since January 1992.  In the last year, this sector has dropped by -60,800 jobs, more than 9 percent of its total workforce.  The Professional and Business Services sector reported -13,200 fewer workers, the second largest decrease on record and its third decline in excess of -10,000 in the last five months.

The IDES administers federally funded employment services and unemployment insurance programs through its nearly 60 offices, including the Illinois workNet Centers. IDES also receives federal grants to provide and analyze labor market statistics and information.
Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates
2009 February
2009 March
Illinois 9.1% 8.6%* 6.0%*
U.S. 8.5% 8.1% 5.1%
*  Revised

Illinois Seasonally Adjusted Non-Farm Jobs – by Major Industry
Industry Title March*
2009 February**
2009 March**
2008 Over the Month Change Over the Year
Total Non-Farm       5,744,300 5,783,600 5,976,600 -39,300 -232,300
Mining 10,100 10,200 9,900 -100 200
Construction       233,200 235,400 263,200 -2,200 -30,000
Manufacturing      602,400 616,600 666,500 -14,200 -64,100
Trade, Transportation, & Utilities 1,170,400 1,177,200 1,213,100 -6,800 -42,700
Information        111,300 111,400 116,100 -100 -4,800
Financial Activities 380,600 384,200 395,700 -3,600 -15,100
Professional and Business Services 803,000 816,200 870,900 -13,200 -67,900
Educational and Health Services 803,100 803,900 791,700 -800 11,400
Leisure and Hospitality 514,600 514,000 533,300 600 -18,700
Other Services     261,700 260,700 262,800 1,000 -1,100
Government          853,900 853,800 853,400 100 500
 *Preliminary      **Revised


• Seasonally-adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available.
• “Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories:  Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.  For a list of all activities under Other Services and all other industry sectors, go to http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/naico602.htm .
• For not-seasonally-adjusted jobs data showing greater industry detail, go to http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/cesfiles/cescurrent.htm .
• Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at:  http://lmi.ides.state.il.us/laus/icmaur.htm .
• Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2004-2008 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated Census population controls, seasonal factors and state supplied non-farm jobs and UI claims inputs.  The revised monthly data are also smoothed to eliminate large changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey.  Comments and tables distributed for prior monthly Illinois unemployment rate news releases should be discarded.  Any records and other historical analysis previously cited for Illinois labor force, number of unemployed and unemployment rates may no longer be valid under the revised monthly time series.



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