Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago rose 0.1 percentage points in August 2018 to 3.9%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.2 percentage points lower than the Illinois rate. The unemployment rate in Chicago peaked in January 2010 at 11.4% and is now 7.5 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.6% in May 2018, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.3 percentage points. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate August 2018 Month/Month Year/Year
National 3.9% 0.0 -0.5
Illinois 4.1% -0.1 -0.9
Chicago 3.9% +0.1 -1.2
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with August 2018 data as September 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 February 2010 at 558,996. There are now 371,124 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 176,592 in May 2018, the number of unemployed has now grown by 11,280. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons August 2018 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 187,872 +2,114 -61,325

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
September
2018
3.7%
August
2018
3.9% 4.1% 3.9% 187,872
July
2018
3.9% 4.2% 3.8% 185,758
June
2018
4.0% 4.3% 3.8% 186,364
May
2018
3.8% 4.3% 3.6% 176,592
April
2018
3.9% 4.4% 3.8% 187,360
March
2018
4.1% 4.6% 4.3% 209,478
February
2018
4.1% 4.7% 4.7% 232,686
January
2018
4.1% 4.8% 4.9% 238,520
December
2017
4.1% 4.9% 5.0% 244,526
November
2017
4.1% 4.9% 5.0% 245,021
October
2017
4.1% 4.9% 5.0% 244,877

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.