November 23, 2020

Monthly jobs report: Illinois suffers second consecutive month of job losses


MEDIA CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977

107,530 Illinoisans dropped out of the workforce last month  
Monthly jobs report: Illinois suffers second consecutive month of job losses

CHICAGO (Nov. 20, 2020) – As national payrolls continue to climb, Illinois suffered its second consecutive month of job losses.

Recent data shows the nation as a whole continued its recovery from the COVID-19 related downturn in October, but Illinois’ labor market slipped. That led to an increasing gap between the state and the rest of the country.

Analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute shows 107,530 Illinoisans dropped out of the workforce last month, while jobs declined by 1,100. This comes as Gov. J.B. Pritzker has floated new tax hikes on businesses, such as raising the state’s flat tax or closing “loopholes,” to close the state’s $3.9 billion budget deficit.

Illinois’ monthly job numbers:

According to Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) data released yesterday, Illinois lost 1,100 jobs from September to October. Had those who exited the labor force from mid-September to mid-October been counted, the state’s unemployment rate would have been 8.4% rather than the 6.8% reported. In comparison, the nation added 638,000 jobs.

The largest job losses in Illinois came from the leisure and hospitality industry, which is still down 131,600 jobs, or 21% compared to February. Meanwhile, the educational and health sector remains 7% below February levels, the professional and business services payrolls remain 6% below pre-pandemic levels, and trade, transportation and utilities are still missing 3% of their jobs.

Bryce Hill, senior policy analyst at the nonpartisan Illinois Policy Institute, offered the following statement:  

“The last thing Illinois should be doing in an economic downturn – let alone right during statewide Tier 3 mitigation measures that will severely restrict economic activity on Illinois’ most struggling businesses – would be to hike taxes. Illinois’ recovery is too fragile for this. Yet, that’s just what the governor has suggested, hiding behind illusions of the unemployment rate falling.

“It is imperative lawmakers do everything in their power to avoid further harm to businesses. Illinois can improve its fiscal situation and continue to provide core services mainly by implementing constitutional pension reform. There is also the additional possibility of the state receiving federal aid by reforming state finances, if congress adopts the Taxpayer Protection Act. The act would offer overburdened Illinois taxpayers a path to declining debt, lower taxes, more effective state government and a more sustainable recovery.”

To read more about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinois jobs, visit:

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