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Chicago Unemployment Declines

Posted on August 24, 2009

Despite the fact that the area continued to lose jobs last month, the Chicago unemployment rate declined for the first time in 11 months.

During July, the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet area saw its unemployment rate decrease from 11.3 percent to 10.7 percent, the same rate the area had during May. Even though this is the first time the local unemployment rate has declined since September 2008, it was still higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.4 percent, and the area continued to lose jobs.

The Chicago area had a total non-farm employment of 3,697,500 workers during July, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is down from 3,715,500 workers during June and a 4.7 percent decrease from last year.

Only one industry managed to add jobs when compared to last year, but that same industry lost jobs on a month-to-month basis. The education and health services industry employed 514,900 workers during July, down from 518,700 workers during June, but a .2 percent increase from last year.

It’s no surprise that the construction industry took the biggest hit when compared to last year, but it is surprising to see that the industry added jobs on a month-to-month basis. The industry employed 150,200 workers during July, up from 149,200 workers during June, but a 14.1 percent increase from last year.

Other industries that saw an over-the-year decrease in jobs include:

  • mining and logging by 6.3 percent
  • manufacturing by 11 percent
  • trade, transportation and utilities by 3.3 percent
  • information by 7.7 percent
  • financial activities by 6.5 percent
  • professional and business services by 6.1 percent
  • leisure and hospitality by 4.1 percent
  • other services by 3.7 percent
  • government by 1.3 percent
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