Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago rose 0.3 percentage points in October 2016 to 5.9%. 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 5.5 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 5.3% in July 2016, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.6 percentage points. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate October 2016 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.9% -0.1 -0.1
Illinois 5.6% +0.1 -0.3
Chicago 5.9% +0.3 +0.2
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with October 2016 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 263,480 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 261,490 in July 2016, the number of unemployed has now grown by 32,506. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons October 2016 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 293,996 +17,025 +14,925

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
November
2016
4.6%
October
2016
4.9% 5.6% 5.9% 293,996
September
2016
5.0% 5.5% 5.6% 276,971
August
2016
4.9% 5.5% 5.3% 264,113
July
2016
4.9% 5.8% 5.3% 261,490
June
2016
4.9% 6.2% 5.6% 277,701
May
2016
4.7% 6.4% 5.8% 286,937
April
2016
5.0% 6.6% 6.4% 318,980
March
2016
5.0% 6.5% 6.4% 320,489
February
2016
4.9% 6.4% 6.3% 311,317
January
2016
4.9% 6.3% 6.1% 300,666
December
2015
5.0% 6.1% 5.9% 291,659

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.