Today, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) released preliminary November 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 by 9,456, from 1,356,757 in November 2015 to 1,366,213 in November 2016, suggesting that more residents are actively looking for work.
  • The number of employed Chicago (city) residents increased by 7,244 compared to the year prior, from 1,276,075 in November 2015 to an estimated 1,283,319 in November 2016.
  • Unemployed Chicago (city) residents increased by 2,212 compared to the year prior, from 80,682 in November 2015 to an estimated 82,894 in November 2016.
  • These factors resulted in a preliminary unemployment rate of 6.1 percent in November 2016 before seasonal adjustment, up 0.2 percentage points from the November 2015 rate.
The following charts 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.


According to payroll job estimates from IDES, private sector employers located in the city of Chicago have added an estimated 3,162 jobs since November 2015. The largest gains were in the professional and business services (+5,092), leisure and hospitality (+2,681), and retail trade (+1,188) sectors.

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

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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