Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago rose 0.1 percentage points in October 2017 to 5.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.3 percentage points higher than the Illinois rate. The unemployment rate in Chicago peaked in January 2010 at 11.4% and is now 6.2 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 4.3% in March 2017, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.9 percentage points. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate October 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.1% -0.1 -0.7
Illinois 4.9% -0.1 -0.9
Chicago 5.2% +0.1 -0.6
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with October 2017 data as November metro level unemployment data has not yet been released.

Unemployment Rate: Chicago, Illinois, National

Chicago, Illinois monthly unemployment rate chart

Note: Recessions shown in gray.

Chicago, Illinois Unemployed

The number of people unemployed in Chicago peaked in March 2010 at 557,476. There are now 305,277 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 208,187 in May 2017, the number of unemployed has now grown by 44,012. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons October 2017 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 252,199 +3,099 -33,750

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
November
2017
4.1%
October
2017
4.1% 4.9% 5.2% 252,199
September
2017
4.2% 5.0% 5.1% 249,100
August
2017
4.4% 5.0% 5.0% 245,273
July
2017
4.3% 4.8% 4.4% 215,083
June
2017
4.4% 4.7% 4.4% 214,467
May
2017
4.3% 4.6% 4.3% 208,187
April
2017
4.4% 4.7% 4.3% 209,837
March
2017
4.5% 4.9% 4.3% 212,084
February
2017
4.7% 5.4% 5.0% 242,672
January
2017
4.8% 5.7% 5.5% 271,351
December
2016
4.7% 5.7% 5.7% 278,950

1. Metro area unemployment rates are now seasonally adjusted. The BLS has started publishing smoothed seasonally adjusted metropolitan area data which makes comparisons to state and national data more relevant than the unadjusted numbers.