Today, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released preliminary July 2016 data on 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 IDES’ job estimates by industry based on the Current Employment Statistics Program (or “employer survey”).


  • The city of Chicago posted a preliminary unemployment rate of 6.2% in July 2016 before seasonal adjustment – this is down 0.7 percentage points from the July 2015 rate.
  • Chicago’s labor force expanded (+25,765) from 1,382,597 in July 2015 to 1,408,362 in July 2016, suggesting that more residents are actively looking for work.
  • The number of employed Chicago (city) residents increased by 33,112 compared to the year prior, from 1,287,305 in July 2015 to an estimated 1,320,417 in July 2016.
  • Unemployed Chicago (city) residents decreased by 7,347 compared to the year prior, from 95,292 in July 2015 to an estimated 87,945 in July 2016.
The following charts summarize monthly employment trends. Data is not seasonally adjusted.
City Unemployed 082516
Note: Rates are not adjusted for seasonality, and should be compared year-over-year. City selection based on size and availability of data.
City Employed 082516


According to payroll job estimates from IDES, the Chicago (city) economy has expanded by an estimated 10,620 private jobs since July 2015, mostly attributed to leisure and hospitality (+3,587), professional and retail trade (+2,395) and construction (+1,741).

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

ChicagoJobsIndustry 082516
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 <a href="http://www” target=”_blank” data-cke-saved-href=””>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 




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