The Illinois job market has shown signs of recovery since the state’s election in November, but the number of job openings for Illinoisans still waiting for a job could take some time to fill, the state Department of Employment and Workforce Development said on Monday.
In a blog post, the department said the number for job seekers is expected to continue to rise this year and could reach 5.6 million by March 2018, which is up from the 4.9 million expected in January.
That’s more than the 5.2 million people the department expects would be eligible to apply for jobs this year.
That’s a 4.4 percent increase from January and up from 4.3 percent in January and January 2018, the agency said.
In February, the governor signed a bill making it easier for businesses to hire from outside the state.
But some employers are still reluctant to hire new employees, and the unemployment rate for Illinois residents has remained steady at 7.4.
In addition to hiring outside the country, the job market also has to contend with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs due to automation, including the outsourcing of manufacturing to countries like China and Mexico.