The Illinois unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent in May, the first decline in seven months, but the dip was due to a diminishing workforce. The national unemployment rate last month was 4.7 percent.
"We saw job loss and more people leaving the workforce in May," said IDES Director Jeff Mays. "While the nation grew 10.9 percent since recovery began, we grew 7.5 percent. As our job growth continues to lag behind the nation, we will continue our efforts to find more opportunities for individuals looking for meaningful employment."
The state saw a net loss of 2,500 jobs in May, with the government losing 2,100 jobs and 2,300 in education and health services. The professional and business services and financial activities sectors each gained 1,600 jobs last month.
The state's bleak May jobs report sparked calls for economic reforms in the state.
"Illinois' economy remains stagnant, and our economic growth stunted compared to the rest of the country. National growth has exceeded Illinois' by nearly 50 percent over-the-year, leaving us over 50,000 jobs short of peak employment, while the country sets new employment records," said Illinois Department of Commerce Acting Director Sean McCarthy. "The hard working men and women of Illinois deserve structural reforms that will create jobs and get Illinois growing again."