Skip to main content

National recession pushes state joblessness to 11 percent

job seekers wait in line at a June job fair in Chicago
job seekers wait in line at a June job fair in Chicago
photo by Scott Olson, Getty Images

Illinois may be at the end of the train to economic recovery, state officials say, as the unemployment rate pushed to a new record level in October.

The Illinois seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October is 11.0 percent, up 0.5 percent from the previous month and its highest level in more than 25 years, since August 1983, according to figures released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The three-month average is 10.5 percent, also the highest level since November 1983.

“While the slowing pace of job loss and leading economic indicators bring with it cautious optimism, they are of little comfort to those seeking meaningful employment during this national recession,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said.

“Past economic recoveries suggest the nation will begin to benefit from a growing economy before unemployment rates in Illinois begin to retreat.”

Job loss continues in Illinois, but at a much slower pace. The state lost 3,200 non-farm jobs in October, the 21st consecutive monthly loss. October payroll employment in Illinois reached 5,635,600, its lowest jobs level since September 1995. Job losses were reported in several industry sectors, but the loss fell below recent monthly averages.

Nationally, the October unemployment rate increased by 0.4 percent to reach 10.2 percent, the highest rate since April 1983