Monthly Jobs Report: Chicago Unemployment Drops to 5.3 Percent

The most recent monthly jobs report shows the seasonally adjusted Chicago unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in August, down 0.3 percentage points from the month prior. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 7,400 Chicago jobs were lost during the same reporting period, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent in August. Month over month, Illinois lost 8,200 seasonally adjusted jobs.

How will these numbers affect area employers?

According to Robert Half district president Marilyn Bird, “The drop in the Chicago unemployment rate could mean that top talent is getting even harder to find, especially in sectors like manufacturing and finance where we were already seeing shortages.” Bird advises hiring managers to streamline recruitment by collaborating with human resources to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding must-have skills and experience. “In a market that favors job applicants, in-demand candidates could have multiple job offers on the table, so it pays to act swiftly,” she says. “When all departments have a shared goal and work together, it’s much easier to weed out unqualified applications that can stall the hiring process.”

Bird adds, “To make it more likely skilled professionals choose your company, at minimum you need to offer competitive compensation.” She suggests employers benchmark their starting salaries against data in the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide to ensure they’re meeting industry standards. But she also recommends employers sweeten the pot with incentives such as signing bonuses, extra vacation days or telecommute options.

In search of talent for Chicago jobs? Your local Robert Half recruiter is here to help. Call (888) 707-4274 today.

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