Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago fell 0.0 percentage points in January 2019 to 4.2%. For the same month, the metro unemployment rate was 0.1 percentage points lower than the Illinois rate. The unemployment rate in Chicago peaked in January 2010 at 11.4% and is now 7.2 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 3.6% in May 2018, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.6 percentage points. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate January 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.0% +0.1 -0.1
Illinois 4.3% 0.0 -0.1
Chicago 4.2% 0.0 -0.7
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with January 2019 data as February 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 351,783 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 30,621. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2019 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 207,213 +226 -31,307

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
February
2019
3.8%
January
2019
4.0% 4.3% 4.2% 207,213
December
2018
3.9% 4.3% 4.2% 206,987
November
2018
3.7% 4.3% 4.3% 211,075
October
2018
3.8% 4.2% 4.4% 214,033
September
2018
3.7% 4.2% 4.0% 195,583
August
2018
3.8% 4.2% 3.9% 187,782
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% 4.3% 3.8% 187,360
March
2018
4.0% 4.3% 4.3% 209,478

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.