Department of Numbers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois Unemployment

The BLS reported that the unemployment rate for Chicago fell 0.9 percentage points in September 2021 to 6.6%. 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 April 2020 at 16.7% and is now 10.1 percentage points lower. You can also compare Chicago unemployment with unemployment in other cities.

Unemployment Rate September 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
National 4.8% -0.4 -3.0
Illinois 6.8% -0.2 -3.6
Chicago 6.6% -0.9 -5.0
Note: Metro level data is now seasonally adjusted.1 All comparisons are made with September 2021 data as October 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 758,935. There are now 449,383 fewer people unemployed in the metropolitan area. Chicago employment and jobs data (including jobs lost/gained in Chicago, Illinois) is also available.

Unemployed Persons September 2021 Month/Month Year/Year
Chicago 309,552 -43,906 -246,886

Number of Unemployed Persons

Chicago, Illinois Unemployment History

Date National
Unemployment Rate
Illinois
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployment Rate
Chicago
Unemployed
October
2021
4.6%
September
2021
4.8% 6.8% 6.6% 309,552
August
2021
5.2% 7.0% 7.5% 353,458
July
2021
5.4% 7.1% 7.6% 358,765
June
2021
5.9% 7.2% 7.7% 362,615
May
2021
5.8% 7.1% 7.7% 359,381
April
2021
6.1% 7.1% 7.8% 363,630
March
2021
6.0% 7.1% 7.9% 370,471
February
2021
6.2% 7.4% 8.2% 384,682
January
2021
6.3% 7.7% 8.4% 395,667
December
2020
6.7% 8.0% 8.5% 403,798
November
2020
6.7% 8.1% 8.6% 402,717

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.