The Illinois job market is experiencing mixed conditions. The recession hit the state's critical business sectors -- including manufacturing, wholesale trade, and financial and professional services -- particularly hard. The business declines subsequently affected tax revenue, putting additional pressure on an already-mismanaged state budget. Illinois is now on a path to recovery as the state government and businesses continue to spur economic development and employment opportunities for the state's 6 million workers.
Illinois Jobs Opportunities
Most of the state's well-educated workers are concentrated in Chicago. Other work opportunities in Illinois include manufacturing jobs on the outskirts of Chicago as well as jobs in the rural Amish communities of central Illinois. The state's location in the middle of the country attracts a strong manufacturing base, due to the cost-effectiveness of shipping from the central location.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector generates more than 20 percent of Illinois jobs. Education/health services, professional/business services and government are also critical sectors for employment in Illinois. Professional/business services reported the strongest growth over the past year, while government, construction, other services and information have been in decline. After several years of decline, the manufacturing sector is expanding.
Illinois Employment Trends
The Illinois job market has shown mild performance. As of June 2012, the state unemployment rate was 8.7 percent -- well below the peak rate of 11.4 percent in January 2010, but still higher than the national unemployment rate. Payrolls across the state and online hiring each have shown tempered expansion.
Moody's Analytics forecasts jobs in Illinois will increase by only 0.8 percent between Q2 2012 and Q3 2013, compared with the 1.3 percent increase expected in the nation's job supply during that time.