Illinois Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 380,060 employers, up 3.0% from 369,037
  • 6,047,732 employees, up 0.2% from 6,038,303
  • $1,221 average weekly wage, up 2.7% from $1,189
  • The average weekly wage is 3.0% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 5.5% below the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 11,023, which is an increase of 3.0%. The number of employees in Illinois increased by 9,428, an increase of 0.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $32, an increase of 2.7%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 10,936 or 3.0%. Growth in private businesses in Illinois grew faster than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 3,771 or 0.1%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Illinois was slower than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $33 or 2.7%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Illinois grew slower than the national average of 3.8%.


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 2.6%. Other services (10.6%), which increased by 2.2% and Retail trade (9.4%), which decreased by 0.1%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Transport and warehousing1,2077.1%
Information3425.1%
Utilities284.8%
Real estate and rental3342.6%
Professional services1,3662.6%
Arts and entertainment1392.6%
Mining and oil extraction142.4%
Accommodation and food services6242.3%
Other services8822.2%
Manufacturing3592.0%
Waste services3851.9%
Agriculture and forestry421.9%
Construction5391.7%
Company management231.5%
Educational services731.4%
Healthcare3701.3%
Finance and insurance1861.0%
Retail trade-26-0.1%
Wholesale trade-57-0.2%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 13.0% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 0.8% in the last year. Retail trade (9.9%), decreased by 1.7% and Manufacturing (9.6%), decreased by 1.3%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing9,0333.2%
Finance and insurance6,5282.2%
Arts and entertainment1,8132.1%
Real estate and rental1,1741.4%
Mining and oil extraction801.0%
Accommodation and food services4,3920.9%
Professional services3,7450.9%
Healthcare6,1110.8%
Utilities1160.5%
Information3970.4%
Construction7660.3%
Agriculture and forestry220.2%
Wholesale trade-987-0.3%
Educational services-603-0.4%
Other services-1,067-0.5%
Waste services-5,389-1.2%
Manufacturing-7,545-1.3%
Retail trade-10,324-1.7%
Company management-4,869-5.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,459per week compared with the state average of $1,236. Weekly wages in this sector declined by $57 or 2.3%. Finance and insurance ($2,251), rose by $76 or 3.5% and Professional services ($2,209) increased by $89 or 4.2% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Agriculture and forestry$536.5%
Information$1005.7%
Arts and entertainment$385.1%
Waste services$404.8%
Professional services$894.2%
Other services$344.0%
Accommodation and food services$173.9%
Utilities$783.8%
Real estate and rental$543.8%
Finance and insurance$763.5%
Retail trade$213.3%
Construction$483.2%
Educational services$292.9%
Wholesale trade$412.4%
Mining and oil extraction$261.7%
Manufacturing$231.6%
Transport and warehousing$40.4%
Healthcare$00.0%
Company management$-57-2.3%


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 21,337 employing 407,853 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 484 more businesses, an increase of 2.3% in the last year. Private households (3.7% of businesses) added 101 businesses, an increase of 0.7% and Computer systems design and related services (3.4% of businesses) added 534 businesses, an increase of 4.4% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Oilseed except soybean farming6200.0%
Hay farming3100.0%
Steam and air-conditioning supply685.7%
Tobacco manufacturing457.1%
All other personal services51945.3%
Heavy duty truck manufacturing342.9%
Carpet and rug mills228.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
General freight trucking long-distance82216.4%
Computer systems design and related services5344.4%
All other personal services51945.3%
Restaurants and other eating places4842.3%
Management consulting services2842.8%
All other professional and technical services26010.0%
Software publishers17714.9%


Employees by Industry

Private households (3.7% of employees) added 101 employees, an increase of 0.7% and Computer systems design and related services (3.4% ofemployees) added 534 employees, an increase of 4.4% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Steam and air-conditioning supply58443.6%
Oilseed except soybean farming7140.0%
Business and secretarial schools9112.0%
Couriers and express delivery services18,09675.9%
Pension funds8775.4%
Forest nursery and gathering forest products542.4%
Dry pea and bean farming442.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Couriers and express delivery services18,09675.9%
Direct insurers except life and health3,4969.6%
Food service contractors3,33812.8%
Janitorial services2,7285.6%
Commercial banking2,2683.1%
Restaurants and other eating places1,9840.5%
Wholesale trade agents and brokers1,9208.0%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Motion picture and video distribution, paying $10,753 compared with the state average of $1,236. Employees in the Motion picture and video distribution industry were paid $8,169 more per week, an increase of 316.1% in the last year. Portfolio management ($6,435) and Miscellaneous intermediation ($5,279) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Portfolio management ($6,435 per week) were paid $43 less per week, a decline of 0.7% and Miscellaneous intermediation ($5,279 per week) were paid $306 more per week, an increase of 6.2% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$8,169316.1%
Steam and air-conditioning supply$80475.4%
Carpet and rug mills$89667.4%
Business and secretarial schools$55449.0%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$85145.4%
Musical groups and artists$42245.3%
Automobile and light truck manufacturing$54345.2%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$8,169316.1%
Carpet and rug mills$89667.4%
Other financial vehicles$85520.3%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$85145.4%
Steam and air-conditioning supply$80475.4%
Credit card issuing$62436.9%
Business and secretarial schools$55449.0%


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 91.2%. (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%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places21,3372.3%
Private households13,9350.7%
Computer systems design and related services12,7394.4%
Management consulting services10,5812.8%
Residential building construction8,5981.5%
Offices of lawyers7,769-0.3%
Offices of physicians6,6060.0%
Insurance agencies and brokerages6,107-0.3%
Accounting and bookkeeping services5,9002.0%
General freight trucking long-distance5,84216.4%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places407,8530.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals234,826-0.2%
Temporary help services182,842-3.3%
Offices of physicians95,1851.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores92,853-1.3%
Management of companies and enterprises87,344-5.3%
Computer systems design and related services86,9190.7%
Management consulting services83,0461.5%
Commercial banking76,1313.1%
Nursing care facilities skilled nursing75,192-1.8%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Motion picture and video distribution$10,753316.1%
Portfolio management$6,435-0.7%
Miscellaneous intermediation$5,2796.2%
Other financial vehicles$5,07320.3%
Commodity contracts dealing$4,895-2.7%
Investment banking and securities dealing$4,2950.6%
Investment advice$4,28412.1%
Spectator sports$3,9818.8%
Securities brokerage$3,9436.4%
Power boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing$3,7183.5%




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.