Local Employment Trends


Today, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released preliminary December 2014 unemployment rates for municipalities across the state based on the current population survey (or “household survey”). The following brief summarizes this data, as well as job estimates by industry based on the Current Employment Statistics Program (or “Employer Survey”).

  • The city of Chicago posted a preliminary rate of 6.2%, before seasonal adjustment – this is down from the December 2013 rate of 9.5% and marks the city’s lowest unemployment rate since April 2008.
  • The number of Chicago (city) residents employed in December 2014 increased by 38,008 compared to the year prior (from 1,147,272 in December 2013 to an estimated 1,185,280) – this marks the fourteenth consecutive month of over-the-year increases in employed residents.
  • Unemployed Chicago residents in December 2014 dropped by 42,697 compared to the year prior (from 120,856 in December 2013 to an estimated 78,159).
  • The Chicago (city) economy has expanded by an estimated 8,711 nonfarm jobs since December 2013, mostly attributed to professional and business services (+4,891), education and health services (+3,964) and transportation and warehousing (+1,962) sectors.

The charts below summarize monthly employment trends. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

Note: Rates are not adjusted for seasonality, and should be compared year-over-year. City selection based on size and availability of data.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), IDES, California Employment Development Department, Texas Workforce Commission.

Note: Totals are not adjusted for seasonality, and should be compared year-over-year.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), IDES

The table below compares year-over-year change in jobs by industry for the city of Chicago. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

Note: Estimates are not official US Bureau of Labor Statistics Data.
Source: IDES

For more information, please visit the BLS or IDES websites.

Chaired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, World Business Chicago is the public-private partnership leading the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs in order to drive business development, cultivate talent, and put Chicago at the forefront of the global economy.

WBC’s “Economic Briefs” track indicators from month to month to gauge the strength of several aspects of Chicago’s economy, including unemployment, population, venture capital, job openings and new hires, home sales, tourism, etc. This data provides a clear analytic framework for specific Plan strategies and initiatives. For a summary of these and other economic indicators, refer to WBC’s monthly Chicago By The Numbers

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