Today, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released preliminary February 2015 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 unemployment rate of 7.1% before seasonal adjustment – this is down from the February 2014 rate of 9.3%.
  • The number of Chicago (city) residents employed in February increased by 22,820 compared to the year prior (from 1,239,254 in February 2014 to an estimated 1,262,074).
  • Unemployed Chicago residents in February 2015 dropped by 31,026 compared to the year prior (from 126,881 in February 2014 to an estimated 95,855).
  • The Chicago (city) economy has expanded by an estimated 20,207 private jobs since February 2014, mostly attributed to the education and health services (+9,360), professional and business services (+5,324) and retail trade (+3,761) sectors.

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


Notes: 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, Texas Workforce Commission, California Employment Development Department

Source: IDES

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

Note: Current and historic data reflects the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program 2015 Redesign. Due to the ongoing revision process, data prior to 2013 will not be finalized until April 21, 2015. For more information about revisions to Local Area Employment Statistics (LAUS) data, please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website and the IDES website.

For more information on the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program, 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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