Illinois jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent in January
Job seekers wait in line at the South Suburban Cook County Community job fair, held at the Eisenhower Community Center in Lansing in January. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
By Corilyn Shropshire
Illinois’ unemployment rate declined even further to 9.4 percent in January, dropping three tenths of a percent since December, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The state added 3,800 jobs to the payrolls in January.
While Illinois’ jobless rate fell for the fifth consecutive month, it still lags the national jobless rate of 8.3 percent.
Historically, the national unemployment rate — which identifies individuals who are out of work and seeking employment — is lower than the state rate. Only seven times since January 2000 — in periods of economic expansion and contraction — has the state rate been lower than the nation’s, according to IDES. Total unemployment has declined 17.6 percent since January 2010 when the state jobless rate peaked at 11.4 percent.