Illinois Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 375,125 employers, up 2.9% from 364,425
  • 5,884,427 employees, up 0.4% from 5,858,660
  • $1,275 average weekly wage, up 2.7% from $1,241
  • The average weekly wage is 7.7% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 4.3% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 10,700, which is an increase of 2.9%. The number of employees in Illinois increased by 25,767, an increase of 0.4%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $34, an increase of 2.7%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 10,594 or 3.0%. Growth in private businesses in Illinois grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 21,221 or 0.4%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Illinois was slower than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $37 or 2.9%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Illinois grew slower than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 14.4% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 1.9%. Other services (10.5%), which increased by 0.8% and Retail trade (9.5%), which decreased by 1.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Transport and warehousing1,0476.4%
Information3495.3%
Utilities183.1%
Waste services4602.3%
Educational services1192.3%
Real estate and rental2822.2%
Arts and entertainment1052.0%
Professional services1,0091.9%
Construction4031.3%
Mining and oil extraction71.2%
Accommodation and food services2150.8%
Manufacturing1380.8%
Other services3130.8%
Agriculture and forestry150.7%
Healthcare1830.6%
Finance and insurance1020.5%
Wholesale trade-101-0.4%
Company management-9-0.6%
Retail trade-347-1.0%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 13.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.8% in the last year. Manufacturing (10.0%), increased by 1.2% and Retail trade (9.9%), decreased by 2.2%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Mining and oil extraction4616.2%
Transport and warehousing9,9623.7%
Arts and entertainment2,5963.3%
Finance and insurance5,2381.8%
Professional services5,5101.3%
Manufacturing6,7331.2%
Agriculture and forestry1721.1%
Information9421.0%
Real estate and rental7070.9%
Construction1,4860.8%
Healthcare5,9370.8%
Accommodation and food services2,8300.5%
Other services9420.5%
Wholesale trade1,2280.4%
Waste services1120.1%
Retail trade-13,142-2.2%
Utilities-597-2.4%
Educational services-3,899-2.6%
Company management-6,084-6.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Finance and insurance paying $3,395per week compared with the state average of $1,302. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $117 or 3.6%. Company management ($3,303), declined by $34 or 1.0% and Utilities ($3,271) increased by $385 or 13.3% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Utilities$38513.3%
Real estate and rental$1338.7%
Waste services$516.1%
Information$1135.9%
Retail trade$294.9%
Wholesale trade$774.5%
Accommodation and food services$153.8%
Finance and insurance$1173.6%
Educational services$313.2%
Professional services$593.1%
Transport and warehousing$282.5%
Agriculture and forestry$172.2%
Healthcare$171.8%
Other services$151.8%
Mining and oil extraction$191.2%
Construction$60.4%
Arts and entertainment$30.4%
Manufacturing$-5-0.3%
Company management$-34-1.0%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Illinois. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.6% of the businesses in the state (with 20,981 employing 397,807 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 178 more businesses, an increase of 0.9% in the last year. Private households (3.7% of businesses) added 45 businesses, an increase of 0.3% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% of businesses) added 297 businesses, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Industrial gas manufacturing847.1%
Magnetic media manufacturing and reproducing2236.7%
Other apparel knitting mills133.3%
Heavy duty truck manufacturing228.6%
Open-end investment funds425.0%
Ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing824.2%
Health and welfare funds323.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
General freight trucking long-distance69915.2%
Computer systems design and related services2972.5%
Management consulting services2482.4%
General freight trucking local2405.5%
All other professional and technical services1998.0%
Software publishers18016.8%
Restaurants and other eating places1780.9%


Employees by Industry

Private households (3.7% of employees) added 45 employees, an increase of 0.3% and Computer systems design and related services (3.3% ofemployees) added 297 employees, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Natural gas extraction151453.0%
Couriers and express delivery services16,31081.0%
Motor vehicle seating and interior trim mfg.94259.7%
Sugar manufacturing2854.8%
Textile and fabric finishing mills16247.4%
Record production and distribution7834.7%
Asphalt paving and roofing materials mfg.22432.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Couriers and express delivery services16,31081.0%
Management consulting services3,8105.0%
Direct insurers except life and health3,3709.1%
Janitorial services2,8496.0%
General freight trucking long-distance2,2626.3%
Food service contractors2,1139.3%
Services for the elderly and disabled2,0684.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Private households ($4) and Computer systems design and related services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Private households ($4 per week) were paid $45 more per week, an increase of 0.3% and Computer systems design and related services ($3 per week) were paid $297 more per week, an increase of 2.5% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Natural gas extraction$1,965144.1%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,27971.3%
Business and secretarial schools$61471.2%
Carpet and rug mills$94558.3%
Office supplies merchant wholesalers$78948.9%
Local messengers and local delivery$31845.2%
Credit bureaus$1,63245.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,27971.3%
Natural gas extraction$1,965144.1%
Commodity contracts dealing$1,69719.1%
Credit bureaus$1,63245.0%
Securities and commodity exchanges$1,59929.8%
Miscellaneous intermediation$1,20227.3%
Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing$1,12642.4%


Company Size

Illinois Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Illinois by far. 64.8% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 348,750 small businesses in the state represent 95.2% of all private businesses. The national average is 92.9%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Illinois added 10,594 businesses in the last year, an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 10,681 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.2% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses declined 104 businesses in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.6% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 17 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.8% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Illinois Employees by Business Size

Illinois added 63,662 employees in the last year, an increase of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 7,316 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.1% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses lost 1,214 employees in the last year, which is a decrease of 0.1% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 57,560 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 5.1% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Illinois Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Illinois (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 5.4% more than the national average ($1,062 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Illinois (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 9.8% workers below the national average ($1,742 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $95 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 2.4% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $162 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.1% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $44 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 1.3% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.