Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago fell 0.1 percentage points in January 2021 to 8.5%. 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 9.1 percentage points lower. From a post peak low of 7.7% in November 2020, the unemployment rate has now grown by 0.8 percentage points. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 6.3% -0.4 +2.8
Illinois 7.7% -0.3 +4.2
Chicago 8.5% -0.1 +5.0
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with January 2021 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 April 2020 at 828,355. There are now 432,026 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. From a recent trough of 360,299 in November 2020, the number of unemployed has now grown by 36,030. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons January 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 396,329 -7,006 +227,729

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
March
2021
6.0%
February
2021
6.2% 7.4%
January
2021
6.3% 7.7% 8.5% 396,329
December
2020
6.7% 8.0% 8.6% 403,335
November
2020
6.7% 8.1% 7.7% 360,299
October
2020
6.9% 8.1% 8.7% 413,022
September
2020
7.8% 10.4% 11.5% 556,226
August
2020
8.4% 11.1% 11.8% 561,097
July
2020
10.2% 12.0% 11.9% 563,933
June
2020
11.1% 14.2% 15.2% 750,718
May
2020
13.3% 15.4% 15.6% 751,055
April
2020
14.8% 16.5% 17.6% 828,355

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.