According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the Chicago unemployment rate came in at 5.6 percent in August. This is a decrease of one percentage point from this time last year, and is the lowest Chicago unemployment rate since April 2008. In spite of this decline, 8,200 Chicago jobs were lost, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.
Statewide, the unemployment rate also came in at 5.6 percent in August. Illinois saw a drop in job numbers over the month, with 900 positions lost on a seasonally adjusted basis.
What do these numbers mean for Chicago employers?
Robert Half District President Marilyn Bird says the Chicago jobs market is still seeing significant talent shortages in certain sectors. To attract the best candidates — and then seal the deal — employers need to offer starting salaries that live up to regional averages and candidate expectations.
“Job seekers are definitely researching compensation levels and are aware of their worth,” says Bird. “You need to be on the same page or you risk talented individuals taking a better offer elsewhere.”
Benchmarking your salary offerings against those found in the Robert Half Salary Guide is a great way to maintain a competitive edge when it comes to starting pay. You can further narrow down salary trends by region with our Salary Calculator.
Bird also emphasizes the importance of focusing on retention in the current Chicago jobs market. One effective strategy that’s often overlooked is hiring from within your organization.
“If you’re not offering your key employees a chance to further their careers, they may start exploring other options,” says Bird. Ensuring your staff is happy with the career advancement opportunities your company provides can go a long way toward making them feel valued and keeping them where they are.
Having trouble staffing key positions as the Chicago unemployment rate declines? Call Robert Half at (888) 707-4274 and see how we can help.