Chicago Jobs Report: Unemployment Drops in the Windy City

Chicago Jobs Report, BLS

According to the most recent monthly jobs report, the seasonally adjusted Chicago unemployment rate for June dropped to 6.2 percent, down 0.8 percentage points from one year prior. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 26,600 Chicago jobs were added in June.

Statewide, the Illinois monthly jobs report shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly to 5.9 percent in June. In the same month, the state lost 7,500 jobs, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

How will these changes affect the Chicago job market?

Marilyn Bird, district president with Robert Half, says, “We’re still seeing a high demand for Chicago jobs requiring specialized skill sets, including technology expertise. Examples are financial and business analysts. Employers are also requiring a firm grasp of technology for positions related to enterprise resource planning (ERP), as well as a working knowledge of their organizations’ software systems.”

However, businesses are finding that many job applicants don’t meet their criteria. One means of locating hard-to-find talent is to contact specialized recruiters whose large networks allow them to provide candidates with the most in-demand expertise. If you’re willing to provide some on-the-job training, you can increase your candidate pool significantly.

Bird also notes the length of the hiring process has increased for some companies, so employers need to be careful not to let top candidates slip away. Job seekers may have multiple offers on the table, so when you identify a candidate you want to bring on board, move quickly.

Retention is also key in the Chicago jobs environment. To retain key players, you’ll want to re-evaluate the benefits and compensation you’re offering employees to make certain you’re keeping up with their needs and demands. “The jobs market is extremely competitive,” Bird says. “Candidates have more pull than in previous years, and factors like commuting and work-life balance are becoming hotter topics.”

How has Chicago unemployment affected hiring and retention at your organization? Let us know in the comments section.

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