Local Employment Trends August 2016

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released preliminary August 2016 labor market estimates for municipalities across the state based on the current population survey (or “household survey”). The following brief summarizes this data, as well as IDES’ estimates of jobs by industry based on the Current Employment Statistics Program (or “employer survey”).


  • Chicago’s labor force expanded (+17,640) from 1,367,076 in August 2015 to 1,384,716 in August 2016, suggesting that more residents are actively looking for work.
  • The number of employed Chicago (city) residents increased by 19,769 compared to the year prior, from 1,279,930 in August 2015 to an estimated 1,299,699 in August 2016.
  • Unemployed Chicago (city) residents decreased by -2,129 compared to the year prior from 87,146 in August 2015 to an estimated 85,017 in August 2016.
  • These factors resulted in a preliminary unemployment rate of 6.1 percent in August 2016 before seasonal adjustment, down 0.3 percentage points from the August 2015 rate.
The following charts summarize monthly household employment trends. Data is not seasonally adjusted.
City Chart NSA Chart 1City Chart NSA Chart 5


According to payroll job estimates from IDES, private sector employers located in the city of Chicago have added an estimated 12,016 jobs since August 2015. The largest gains were in the leisure and hospitality (+5,655), professional and business services (+3,018), and construction (+1,607) sectors.

The following table summarizes private employer payroll estimates. Data is not seasonally adjusted.

Local Payroll Estimates

 Note: At the beginning of each calendar year, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) and Bureau of Labor Statistics Local Area Unemployment Statistics (BLS LAUS) programs revise up to five years of previous data to incorporate new inputs and population data. The data in this brief reflects the most recent revisions from BLS and IDES.
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