llinois gained 14,700 jobs on net in March, according to a preliminary jobs report released today by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. March’s numbers mark three consecutive months of jobs growth in the state.
Despite the job gains, the report also shows an increasing unemployment rate, moving to 6.5 percent in March from 6.4 percent in February. The increase in the unemployment rate is largely due to more people entering the workforce and not being able to find work. March marks the eighth month in a row for increased unemployment.
“This month’s report shows that Illinois’ economy is adding jobs, and more people are entering the workforce,” said Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute. “These are positive signs; however, Illinois’ growing workforce is still not finding sufficient work opportunities. With more jobs moving toward the service sector and away from manufacturing, it is clear the state’s blue-collar workforce is feeling the painful effects of Illinois’ unfriendly business climate.”
The industries with the biggest job gains were the following:
- Leisure and hospitality, which added 6,300 jobs
- Construction, which added 4,100 jobs
- The trade, transportation and utilities industry gained 2,800 job.
- The industries with the biggest job losses included:
- Manufacturing lost 3,100 jobs.
- Professional and business services lost 1,400 jobs