Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago fell 0.1 percentage points in August 2020 to 11.8%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.8 percentage points higher than the Illinois rate. The unemployment rate in Chicago peaked in April 2020 at 17.6% and is now 5.8 percentage points lower. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate August 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
National 8.4% -1.8 +4.7
Illinois 11.0% -0.5 +7.2
Chicago 11.8% -0.1 +8.1
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with August 2020 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 April 2020 at 828,355. There are now 267,880 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons August 2020 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 560,475 -3,458 +382,686

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
September
2020
7.9% 10.2%
August
2020
8.4% 11.0% 11.8% 560,475
July
2020
10.2% 11.5% 11.9% 563,933
June
2020
11.1% 14.5% 15.2% 750,718
May
2020
13.3% 15.3% 15.6% 751,055
April
2020
14.7% 17.2% 17.6% 828,355
March
2020
4.4% 4.2% 4.6% 223,572
February
2020
3.5% 3.4% 3.4% 163,140
January
2020
3.6% 3.5% 3.5% 168,600
December
2019
3.5% 3.7% 3.5% 168,394
November
2019
3.5% 3.7% 3.5% 170,577
October
2019
3.6% 3.7% 3.6% 172,995

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.