Illinois still missing half of jobs lost during pandemic

May 25, 2021

Monthly jobs tracker: Illinois gained only 300 jobs in April


CONTACT: Melanie Krakauer (312) 607-4977

llinois still missing half of jobs lost during pandemic 
Monthly jobs tracker: Illinois gained only 300 jobs in April

CHICAGO (May 25, 2021) – As the federal economy slowed down in April, Illinois’ economy came to a halt – contributing to one of the slowest economic recoveries in the nation.

In total, Illinois employment is still down 424,800 jobs compared to its pre-pandemic peak in January 2020. That means the state has regained fewer than half the jobs it lost during the pandemic, Illinois Policy Institute analysis found.

As a result, Illinois is battling one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 7.1%. The national average is 6.1%.

Unfortunately for Illinoisans still out of work, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pursuing nine new taxes worth nearly $1 billion, including ones that would hurt job creation efforts.

Illinois’ monthly job numbers:
According to new Illinois Department of Employment Security data, Illinois added just 300 jobs from mid-March to mid-April, the worst month for jobs since December. Government added 4,300 jobs, while the private sector lost 4,000 jobs during the month.

Some private industries that added jobs were leisure and hospitality with 8,100 jobs, construction with 4,000 jobs, other services at 1,700 jobs and financial activities with 600 new jobs.

Unfortunately, more private industries lost jobs than added jobs in April, and those losses were far more severe: manufacturing saw a decline of 7,800 jobs; professional and business services lost 4,900 jobs; educational and health services shrank by 2,800 jobs; and trade, transportation and utilities also lost 2,800 jobs.

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

What Illinois needs right now is improved labor markets that create more jobs and grow the tax base, not more and higher taxes that cost the state more jobs and residents.

“Instead of the endless tax-and-spend cycle, Illinois can improve its finances and continue to provide core services mainly by implementing constitutional pension reform. Along with other fiscal fixes, this can give overburdened Illinois taxpayers a path to declining debt, lower taxes and more effective state government.”

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

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