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News Release Information

21-583-CHI
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Chicago Area Employment — February 2021

Total nonfarm employment for the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area decreased by 394,300 over the year in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1 and table 1.) Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that the local rate of job loss, 8.4 percent, compared to the 5.9-percent national decline. This was the 12th consecutive month of over-the-year employment declines in the Chicago area. (The Technical Note at the end of this release contains metropolitan area definitions. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)


The Chicago metropolitan area is made up of four metropolitan divisions—separately identifiable employment centers within the larger metropolitan area. Employment declined in all four divisions. The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights Metropolitan Division, with 80 percent of the area’s total nonfarm payroll, lost 330,200 jobs over the year. The Lake County-Kenosha County Metropolitan Division, which accounted for 9 percent of the area’s employment, lost 25,700 jobs since February 2020. The Elgin Metropolitan Division, with 5 percent of local employment, lost 21,000 jobs, and the Gary Metropolitan Division, with 6 percent of the area’s employment, lost 17,400 jobs.

Industry employment

In the greater Chicago metropolitan area, leisure and hospitality had the largest job loss (-160,400), with all four metropolitan area divisions recording significant declines. The 33.8-percent rate of decline in the metropolitan area’s leisure and hospitality supersector compared to the 20.0-percent loss on a national level. (See chart 2.)


Professional and business services lost 49,800 jobs over the year in the local area. The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights division lost 43,000 jobs, accounting for 86 percent of the local area’s employment loss in this industry. The local area’s 6.1-percent employment decline in professional and business services compared to the 3.3-percent decrease for the nation.

Education and health services lost 47,800 jobs locally, down 6.4 percent. All four of Chicago’s metropolitan area divisions reported significant employment decreases from February 2020 to February 2021. Nationwide, employment in the industry was down 5.2 percent.

The government supersector in the Chicago area lost 35,800 jobs, a 6.5-percent decrease. Nationally, employment in government was down 5.8 percent from February 2020 to February 2021.

Trade, transportation, and utilities employment was down 26,600 over the year. The Chicago division recorded a significant decline with a loss of 24,100 jobs. The local metropolitan area had a 2.8-percent loss compared to the 2.5-percent decline for the nation.

Financial activities was the only supersector that did not report a significant decline in employment over the year.

Employment in the 12 largest metropolitan areas

Chicago was 1 of the nation’s 12 largest metropolitan statistical areas in February 2021. All 12 areas lost jobs over the year. New York-Newark-Jersey City had the largest decline (-1,113,600). Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale had the smallest loss (-79,600) among the largest areas. (See chart 3 and table 2.)


Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim had an 11.7-percent rate of job loss, followed by San Francisco-Hayward-Oakland (-11.3 percent) and New York (-11.2 percent). The rates of job losses in the remaining nine areas ranged from 9.1 percent in Boston-Cambridge-Nashua to 3.6 percent in Phoenix.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment release for March 2021 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on February 2021 Establishment Survey Data

BLS has continued to review all estimation and methodological procedures for the establishment survey, which included the review of data, estimation processes, the application of the birth-death model, and seasonal adjustment. Business births and deaths cannot be adequately captured by the establishment survey as they occur. Therefore, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program uses a model to account for the relatively stable net employment change generated by business births and deaths. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the relationship between business births and deaths is no longer stable. Typically, reports with zero employment are not included in estimation. For the January final and February preliminary estimates, CES included a portion of these reports in the estimates and made modifications to the birth-death model. In addition for both months, the establishment survey included a portion of the reports that returned to reporting positive employment from reporting zero employment. For more information, see www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbd.htm.

In the establishment survey, workers who are paid by their employer for all or any part of the pay period including the 12th of the month are counted as employed, even if they were not actually at their jobs. Workers who are temporarily or permanently absent from their jobs and are not being paid are not counted as employed, even if they are continuing to receive benefits. The length of the reference period does vary across the respondents in the establishment survey; one-third of businesses have a weekly pay period, slightly over 40 percent a bi-weekly, about 20 percent semi-monthly, and a small amount monthly.


Technical Note

This release presents nonfarm payroll employment estimates from the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program. The CES survey is a Federal-State cooperative endeavor between State employment security agencies and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Definitions. Employment data refer to persons on establishment payrolls who receive pay for any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. Persons are counted at their place of work rather than at their place of residence; those appearing on more than one payroll are counted on each payroll. Industries are classified on the basis of their principal activity in accordance with the 2017 version of the North American Industry Classification System.

Method of estimation. CES State and Area employment data are produced using several estimation procedures. Where possible these data are produced using a "weighted link relative" estimation technique in which a ratio of current-month weighted employment to that of the previous-month weighted employment is computed from a sample of establishments reporting for both months. The estimates of employment for the current month are then obtained by multiplying these ratios by the previous month's employment estimates. The weighted link relative technique is utilized for data series where the sample size meets certain statistical criteria.

For some employment series, the sample of establishments is very small or highly variable. In these cases, a model-based approach is used in estimation. These models use the direct sample estimates (described above), combined with forecasts of historical (benchmarked) data to decrease volatility in estimation. Two different models (Fay-Herriot Model and Small Domain Model) are used depending on the industry level being estimated. For more detailed information about each model, refer to the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/ces-20110307.pdf.

Annual revisions. Employment estimates are adjusted annually to a complete count of jobs, called benchmarks, derived principally from tax reports that are submitted by employers who are covered under state unemployment insurance (UI) laws. The benchmark information is used to adjust the monthly estimates between the new benchmark and the preceding one and also to establish the level of employment for the new benchmark month. Thus, the benchmarking process establishes the level of employment, and the sample is used to measure the month-to-month changes in the level for the subsequent months.

Reliability of the estimates. The estimates presented in this release are based on sample surveys, administrative data, and modeling and, thus, are subject to sampling and other types of errors. Sampling error is a measure of sampling variability–that is, variation that occurs by chance because a sample rather than the entire population is surveyed. Survey data also are subject to nonsampling errors, such as those which can be introduced into the data collection and processing operations. Estimates not directly derived from sample surveys are subject to additional errors resulting from the specific estimation processes used. The sums of individual items may not always equal the totals shown in the same tables because of rounding.

Employment estimates. Changes in metropolitan area nonfarm payroll employment are cited in the analysis of this release only if they have been determined to be statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level. Measures of sampling error for the total nonfarm employment series are available for metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions at www.bls.gov/web/laus/790stderr.htm. Measures of sampling error for more detailed series at the area and division level are available upon request. Measures of sampling error for states at the supersector level and for the private service-providing, goods-producing, total private and total nonfarm levels are available on the BLS website at https://www.bls.gov/web/laus/790stderr.htm. Information on recent benchmark revisions is available online at www.bls.gov/web/laus/bmrk_article.htm.

Area definitions. The substate area data published in this news release reflect the delineations issued by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget on April 10, 2018

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois; Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter Counties in Indiana; and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.

  • The Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division includes Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kendall, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois.
  • The Elgin, IL Metropolitan Division includes DeKalb and Kane Counties.
  • The Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division includes Lake County in Illinois and Kenosha County in Wisconsin.
  • The Gary, IN Metropolitan Division includes Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter Counties in Indiana.

Additional information

Employment data from the CES program are available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/sae/.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, the Chicago metropolitan area and its components, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
Area and IndustryFeb
2020
Dec
2020
Jan
2021
Feb
2021(p)
Feb 2020 to
Feb 2021(p)
Net
change
Percent
change

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area

Total nonfarm

4,699.14,384.64,287.44,304.8-394.3-8.4

Mining and logging

1.71.51.41.4-0.3-17.6

Construction

160.2164.0148.5143.5-16.7-10.4

Manufacturing

416.0394.8389.6392.3-23.7-5.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

936.2945.2917.3909.6-26.6-2.8

Information

78.471.771.071.7-6.7-8.5

Financial activities

317.7316.8313.7313.0-4.7-1.5

Professional and business services

818.6789.4772.5768.8-49.8-6.1

Education and health services

746.5699.9692.2698.7-47.8-6.4

Leisure and hospitality

475.1308.8297.0314.7-160.4-33.8

Other services

196.0174.8175.2174.2-21.8-11.1

Government

552.7517.7509.0516.9-35.8-6.5

Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division

Total nonfarm

3,761.63,490.93,416.43,431.4-330.2-8.8

Mining and logging

1.21.21.11.1-0.1-8.3

Construction

119.4121.9110.1106.5-12.9-10.8

Manufacturing

283.3266.0262.9265.4-17.9-6.3

Trade, transportation, and utilities

738.4741.2719.6714.3-24.1-3.3

Information

70.564.663.964.5-6.0-8.5

Financial activities

276.0275.5272.7271.9-4.1-1.5

Professional and business services

692.8669.3654.2649.8-43.0-6.2

Education and health services

614.7577.5572.5578.4-36.3-5.9

Leisure and hospitality

378.6230.0220.4237.3-141.3-37.3

Other services

162.2143.6144.3143.3-18.9-11.7

Government

424.5400.1394.7398.9-25.6-6.0

Elgin, IL Metropolitan Division

Total nonfarm

255.3238.8232.1234.3-21.0-8.2

Mining and logging

0.20.10.10.1-0.1-50.0

Construction

12.012.911.511.4-0.6-5.0

Manufacturing

35.333.432.832.6-2.7-7.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

49.150.349.449.10.00.0

Information

2.82.52.62.7-0.1-3.6

Financial activities

10.210.110.110.1-0.1-1.0

Professional and business services

32.830.530.029.7-3.1-9.5

Education and health services

33.131.130.230.6-2.5-7.6

Leisure and hospitality

25.718.817.918.8-6.9-26.8

Other services

10.19.19.19.0-1.1-10.9

Government

44.040.038.440.2-3.8-8.6

Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division

Total nonfarm

412.3395.7386.9386.6-25.7-6.2

Mining and logging

0.10.10.10.10.00.0

Construction

13.413.912.712.1-1.3-9.7

Manufacturing

62.662.261.061.2-1.4-2.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

91.094.691.590.0-1.0-1.1

Information

3.22.92.92.9-0.3-9.4

Financial activities

22.722.722.522.6-0.1-0.4

Professional and business services

68.465.565.065.5-2.9-4.2

Education and health services

48.844.643.843.6-5.2-10.7

Leisure and hospitality

38.230.830.029.8-8.4-22.0

Other services

13.212.212.112.1-1.1-8.3

Government

50.746.245.346.7-4.0-7.9

Gary, IN Metropolitan Division

Total nonfarm

269.9259.2252.0252.5-17.4-6.4

Mining and logging

0.20.10.10.1-0.1-50.0

Construction

15.415.314.213.5-1.9-12.3

Manufacturing

34.833.232.933.1-1.7-4.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

57.759.156.856.2-1.5-2.6

Information

1.91.71.61.6-0.3-15.8

Financial activities

8.88.58.48.4-0.4-4.5

Professional and business services

24.624.123.323.8-0.8-3.3

Education and health services

49.946.745.746.1-3.8-7.6

Leisure and hospitality

32.629.228.728.8-3.8-11.7

Other services

10.59.99.79.8-0.7-6.7

Government

33.531.430.631.1-2.4-7.2

Footnotes
(p) Preliminary

Table 2. Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry supersector, United States and 12 largest metropolitan areas, not seasonally adjusted (numbers in thousands)
AreaFeb
2020
Dec
2020
Jan
2021
Feb
2021(p)
Feb 2020 to
Feb 2021(p)
Net
change
Percent
change

United States(1)

Total nonfarm

150,968143,602140,980142,077-8,891-5.9

Mining and logging

675602593584-91-13.5

Construction

7,2787,3127,0677,006-272-3.7

Manufacturing

12,72712,25112,14212,188-539-4.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

27,50427,79926,95726,805-699-2.5

Information

2,8942,6682,6482,670-224-7.7

Financial activities

8,8208,7888,7338,734-86-1.0

Professional and business services

21,13420,63820,29120,442-692-3.3

Education and health services

24,66823,40023,10523,393-1,275-5.2

Leisure and hospitality

16,29212,89612,57613,037-3,255-20.0

Other services

5,8825,4485,4155,453-429-7.3

Government

23,09421,80021,45321,765-1,329-5.8

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Total nonfarm

2,867.92,741.62,697.62,706.3-161.6-5.6

Mining and logging

1.71.71.71.70.00.0

Construction

130.9128.1126.3128.4-2.5-1.9

Manufacturing

171.4165.4162.9163.9-7.5-4.4

Trade, transportation, and utilities

601.2606.5588.4589.7-11.5-1.9

Information

106.097.997.997.7-8.3-7.8

Financial activities

180.8181.8178.8178.3-2.5-1.4

Professional and business services

552.7535.6530.3529.1-23.6-4.3

Education and health services

376.6359.3354.2358.6-18.0-4.8

Leisure and hospitality

300.7243.7236.7240.1-60.6-20.2

Other services

106.491.991.891.1-15.3-14.4

Government

339.5329.7328.6327.7-11.8-3.5

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH (NECTA)

Total nonfarm

2,809.52,572.22,532.12,552.8-256.7-9.1

Mining, logging, and construction

116.1120.0114.1111.6-4.5-3.9

Manufacturing

186.2177.1175.2176.5-9.7-5.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

421.2408.6399.7395.4-25.8-6.1

Information

83.776.879.078.3-5.4-6.5

Financial activities

184.6179.9181.1181.5-3.1-1.7

Professional and business services

514.8502.5496.0502.0-12.8-2.5

Education and health services

610.1548.0543.7553.7-56.4-9.2

Leisure and hospitality

267.9175.3165.4173.0-94.9-35.4

Other services

103.484.283.983.3-20.1-19.4

Government

321.5299.8294.0297.5-24.0-7.5

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

Total nonfarm

4,699.14,384.64,287.44,304.8-394.3-8.4

Mining and logging

1.71.51.41.4-0.3-17.6

Construction

160.2164.0148.5143.5-16.7-10.4

Manufacturing

416.0394.8389.6392.3-23.7-5.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

936.2945.2917.3909.6-26.6-2.8

Information

78.471.771.071.7-6.7-8.5

Financial activities

317.7316.8313.7313.0-4.7-1.5

Professional and business services

818.6789.4772.5768.8-49.8-6.1

Education and health services

746.5699.9692.2698.7-47.8-6.4

Leisure and hospitality

475.1308.8297.0314.7-160.4-33.8

Other services

196.0174.8175.2174.2-21.8-11.1

Government

552.7517.7509.0516.9-35.8-6.5

Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Total nonfarm

3,838.83,755.03,701.83,695.9-142.9-3.7

Mining, logging, and construction

225.6219.3216.4214.9-10.7-4.7

Manufacturing

291.0281.0280.8281.7-9.3-3.2

Trade, transportation, and utilities

801.1837.1810.5808.67.50.9

Information

83.178.979.179.1-4.0-4.8

Financial activities

325.8328.4326.4326.60.80.2

Professional and business services

655.4646.0645.2633.0-22.4-3.4

Education and health services

470.6454.1449.6451.8-18.8-4.0

Leisure and hospitality

396.1338.4330.8332.2-63.9-16.1

Other services

128.6114.6114.0114.2-14.4-11.2

Government

461.5457.2449.0453.8-7.7-1.7

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX

Total nonfarm

3,192.22,995.72,952.32,959.2-233.0-7.3

Mining and logging

78.466.367.067.6-10.8-13.8

Construction

237.4200.9198.3199.8-37.6-15.8

Manufacturing

234.5208.7205.6205.2-29.3-12.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

628.9633.6620.0618.6-10.3-1.6

Information

32.729.028.728.7-4.0-12.2

Financial activities

169.2163.3162.8162.0-7.2-4.3

Professional and business services

514.7483.8479.7478.6-36.1-7.0

Education and health services

414.4398.0393.6392.1-22.3-5.4

Leisure and hospitality

334.5287.2282.9283.5-51.0-15.2

Other services

119.1104.8104.9104.4-14.7-12.3

Government

428.4420.1408.8418.7-9.7-2.3

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

Total nonfarm

6,303.05,627.35,492.75,564.6-738.4-11.7

Mining and logging

2.31.91.91.9-0.4-17.4

Construction

260.0247.4247.8246.8-13.2-5.1

Manufacturing

496.3454.7445.0449.0-47.3-9.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,101.31,076.81,045.51,041.6-59.7-5.4

Information

265.0202.4197.1199.4-65.6-24.8

Financial activities

342.7325.4323.3322.4-20.3-5.9

Professional and business services

975.5901.6883.8892.5-83.0-8.5

Education and health services

1,103.51,053.01,039.71,047.8-55.7-5.0

Leisure and hospitality

773.4501.0458.4505.9-267.5-34.6

Other services

217.0157.5153.1158.5-58.5-27.0

Government

766.0705.6697.1698.8-67.2-8.8

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Total nonfarm

2,765.42,570.92,542.42,555.8-209.6-7.6

Mining and logging

0.80.80.80.80.00.0

Construction

142.6137.9137.4138.0-4.6-3.2

Manufacturing

91.889.386.287.3-4.5-4.9

Trade, transportation, and utilities

617.6593.1580.0577.0-40.6-6.6

Information

51.846.346.046.5-5.3-10.2

Financial activities

191.9191.3187.2187.4-4.5-2.3

Professional and business services

457.1443.9438.5443.0-14.1-3.1

Education and health services

422.0396.7395.2397.3-24.7-5.9

Leisure and hospitality

344.9261.6263.4268.2-76.7-22.2

Other services

121.0105.8106.0107.0-14.0-11.6

Government

323.9304.2301.7303.3-20.6-6.4

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

Total nonfarm

9,933.29,001.78,767.68,819.6-1,113.6-11.2

Mining, logging, and construction

401.3381.0359.7346.7-54.6-13.6

Manufacturing

355.0330.3325.9327.5-27.5-7.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

1,709.61,612.31,553.11,535.4-174.2-10.2

Information

314.2285.7281.7286.5-27.7-8.8

Financial activities

789.7761.0756.7755.3-34.4-4.4

Professional and business services

1,570.81,469.91,434.81,449.1-121.7-7.7

Education and health services

2,119.61,956.51,917.61,947.2-172.4-8.1

Leisure and hospitality

905.0559.2525.4544.4-360.6-39.8

Other services

425.3344.2341.0341.6-83.7-19.7

Government

1,342.71,301.61,271.71,285.9-56.8-4.2

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

Total nonfarm

2,976.42,783.72,732.22,761.8-214.6-7.2

Mining, logging, and construction

115.7114.8110.3111.6-4.1-3.5

Manufacturing

182.8175.1172.1172.2-10.6-5.8

Trade, transportation, and utilities

523.5527.2506.3504.3-19.2-3.7

Information

53.850.149.149.6-4.2-7.8

Financial activities

218.2215.6214.4215.9-2.3-1.1

Professional and business services

464.4451.4449.0454.1-10.3-2.2

Education and health services

684.7636.9626.5639.5-45.2-6.6

Leisure and hospitality

266.6179.1177.4183.2-83.4-31.3

Other services

122.5102.9103.1103.4-19.1-15.6

Government

344.2330.6324.0328.0-16.2-4.7

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

Total nonfarm

2,233.52,168.62,140.52,153.9-79.6-3.6

Mining and logging

3.32.82.82.8-0.5-15.2

Construction

137.2133.5132.0130.2-7.0-5.1

Manufacturing

136.0133.9133.4135.2-0.8-0.6

Trade, transportation, and utilities

416.5440.8424.0427.911.42.7

Information

41.136.737.538.8-2.3-5.6

Financial activities

205.7205.9203.3203.3-2.4-1.2

Professional and business services

372.8364.9361.4361.9-10.9-2.9

Education and health services

353.2346.3344.5346.3-6.9-2.0

Leisure and hospitality

242.3194.1195.1197.8-44.5-18.4

Other services

70.367.065.967.2-3.1-4.4

Government

255.1242.7240.6242.5-12.6-4.9

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

Total nonfarm

2,500.82,245.42,202.52,217.3-283.5-11.3

Mining and logging

0.40.30.30.3-0.1-25.0

Construction

129.4120.9122.1121.0-8.4-6.5

Manufacturing

145.4141.2140.6142.3-3.1-2.1

Trade, transportation, and utilities

370.1346.5336.9334.4-35.7-9.6

Information

133.5136.0134.6134.00.50.4

Financial activities

146.8140.2138.1137.2-9.6-6.5

Professional and business services

505.6484.1477.2481.0-24.6-4.9

Education and health services

374.7353.7347.2349.7-25.0-6.7

Leisure and hospitality

281.9153.3141.5150.4-131.5-46.6

Other services

89.166.065.266.6-22.5-25.3

Government

323.9303.2298.8300.4-23.5-7.3

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Total nonfarm

3,352.83,165.63,115.93,125.6-227.2-6.8

Mining, logging, and construction

162.8162.5158.7157.2-5.6-3.4

Manufacturing

56.354.854.154.8-1.5-2.7

Trade, transportation, and utilities

404.0405.0391.4385.8-18.2-4.5

Information

77.072.473.172.5-4.5-5.8

Financial activities

159.9153.4152.5152.5-7.4-4.6

Professional and business services

783.5770.5759.9764.8-18.7-2.4

Education and health services

457.9423.0421.6425.4-32.5-7.1

Leisure and hospitality

326.4229.7220.6223.2-103.2-31.6

Other services

209.5189.6187.9187.7-21.8-10.4

Government

715.5704.7696.1701.7-13.8-1.9

Footnotes
(1) U.S. data are preliminary for two months after they are first published.
(p) Preliminary

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021