Illinois jobless rate falls for eighth consecutive month


Illinois jobless rate falls for eighth consecutive month
Illinois jobless rate falls for eighth consecutive month

The number of unemployed people across the state of Illinois dropped in April for the eighth consecutive month, while job growth continued to expand, albeit at a slower pace than what had been seen in previous months.

Statistics from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show statewide unemployment dropped to 8.7 percent last month, falling from 8.8 percent in March. Employers in the state continued to create more jobs than were lost, with 100 more jobs added than the number of jobs lost.

Most of the new jobs were added in the manufacturing sector, while new jobs were also added in the professional and business services. The number of temporary jobs also rose, hinting that employers are still preferring to work with temporary staffing agencies rather than take on a full-time worker from the start.

Despite the slow growth last month, job creation has been robust in Illinois since the beginning of 2012, with an average of 6,300 new jobs per month, said Department of Employment Security spokesman Greg Rivara.

"That three-month moving average will smooth the wild swings from month to month," he said, adding that in March, the saw a net gain of 9,100 jobs.

Manufacturing staffing grew by 2,600 jobs last month, while government agencies added another 2,300 jobs. Professional and business services firms reported 2,000 jobs were added. A number of the temporary jobs that were added last month, reported in the professional and businesses services category, are being used by manufacturing companies to fulfill demand that otherwise would not be met, according to the news source.

Mirroring nationwide sentiment, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said the slower April hiring can be blamed on the unseasonably high hiring rates seen over the winter, as warmer weather and fewer storms prompted hiring that typically occurs in April and May, The Associated Press reports.

For instance, the news source stated, construction staffing fell by 3,200 jobs last month, the second monthly decrease. However, the construction industry in Illinois added an unexpected 6,000 new jobs in February, which likely offsets the slower hiring last month.

"Mild swings in the monthly data have been the hallmark of this recovery, and we expect that trend to continue," asserted IDES director Jay Rowell.