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Illinois unemployment spikes above the trend

Friday, Apr 16, 2010

* For the past few decades, Illinois’ unemployment rate has tended to track with the national rate, but just a bit higher. The bad news in the newly released unemployment numbers is that we’re now diverging from the national trend, and not in a good way…

Ouch. [Via: Progress Illinois.]

From the AP

The jobless rate in Illinois rose slightly to 11.5 percent in March and the state was ranked 9th nationally for its foreclosure rate in the first three months of the year, according to data released Thursday that economists say indicate the state’s recovery is sluggish at best.

But state officials say there are signs the economy is improving.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said the state added 3,000 jobs in March, the third consecutive month that Illinois saw job growth. However there still were 765,000 people out of work.

The 11.5 percent seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Illinois was a tenth of a percentage point higher than in February, but 2.3 percentage points higher than March 2009. The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate for March was 9.7 percent.


The latest numbers show that 148,500 fewer people were employed in Illinois in March than in March 2009.

* The state’s foreclosure rate - which is in the nation’s top ten - is at least partially a reflection of those numbers…

Illinois home foreclosure activity during the first quarter of 2010 fell 4.6 percent from the previous quarter, but was still higher than the first quarter of 2009.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 45,780 foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2010. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

The filings represent one in every 115 housing units in the state. That rate is nearly 17.5 percent higher than in the first quarter of last year and 9th-highest nationally.

RealtyTrac’s statewide foreclosure map is below. The redder the county, the higher the rate…

* Related…

* Daley: Banks should foot bill for foreclosure crisis: Chicago taxpayers spent $7 million last year to board up and secure abandoned properties, Mayor Daley said today, demanding that banks foot the bill for the foreclosure crisis. Daley wants the General Assembly to approve Chicago-only legislation putting banks on the hook for board-up and security costs. He also wants state lawmakers to sharpen the definition of “abandoned” properties to let banks take possession sooner so they can secure buildings sooner.

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* Will board approves fee waiver: The board approved a resolution allowing municipalities — meaning townships, villages or cities — to skip paying the zoning application fee when seeking a zoning change on a piece of unincorporated property. The waiver will be capped at $2,500.

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - shore - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 9:38 am:

    Walter Jacobson, a guy who no longer is employed in media went back to the koolaid last night and blasted Mark Kirk for not focusing on the “issues” and instead the litle bank of horrors that alexi used to run. It would be nice if journalists who are employed when and if they start talking about Alexi’s charges about how kirk and bush killed the economy compared the employment numbers in texas to that of illinois and then asked, if bush is at fault, why is texas so much better than Illinois?

    Texas is at 8.2 percent. in other words Republican texas is beating democrat Illinois.

  2. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 9:40 am:

    This isn’t a surprise. The national level reflects varying political philosophies among the 50 states. So, the national numbers are naturally healthier than the Illinois numbers, just as the national numbers are naturally lower for freer market states.

    What we are seeing is the political trade off Illinois has made regarding how it’s governments muddy business cycles. What we have to ensure is that our governments open their gates when the business cycle goes up, and closes them when the business cycle goes down. But after eighty years of trying, we don’t see this work in the real world, however. It is one of many attractive ideas too attractive for some public leaders to stop trying in the face of repeated failures.

    Because of our governments and history, Illinois is not on the cutting edge, as it used to be during the last century. Our unemployment will remain high for a few more years.

    Painting with broad political strokes - Although the national economy is slowly growing, politically, the states leading the economic revival don’t favor pro-government policies, so the good economic news won’t help Democrats until the good economic news reaches Democratic states where we’ve been seeing them jeopardized. So, to turn this around politically for the party in power, their base constitutents need to feel the benefits of the economic growth now starting to be seen nationally, and this may take another year.

  3. - Windy City Mama - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 9:42 am:

    I have a great idea to help lower Illinois unemployment. Let’s raise taxes.

  4. - Mr. Ethics - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    Windy City Mama may be on to something. Higher taxes could force the unemployed to eventually leave the State.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:22 am:

    You are missing the point Mr. Ethics…with the higher tax revenue we get by raising taxes, we can start state run programs to attract jobs.

  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:27 am:

    Not only that, but I’m certain there are university professors willing to make the case that if we simply raised the state’s minimum wage to $100.00 an hour, we’d lift ourselves right out of this recession! Think of all those people with all that extra income, spending it and creating new jobs!

  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:28 am:

    VM, enough.

  8. - Ghost of John Brown - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:29 am:

    Government often fails to see that they are in competition with other governments. Just like a retail store, you have a product at a price. We have a product (government services and investment) and a price (taxes and regulations). If our services are less than other states and our prices are higher than other states, business will go elsewhere. Throw in the cost of living (worker wages plus the cost of property among other things) and we don’t fair very well. Businesses take a long term look at things like our unfunded pensions, and they know that in the future their taxes will likely go up to pay for it.

    The politicians in Springfield (Dems AND Republicans) have generally not been very grown up about how to run government. Now it is finally coming to the forefront, and most (including me) don’t know how in the world we will deal with it. I’m afraid that in order to deal with it, we will need to take a meat cleaver to the spending, and we may be forced into higher taxes. As unpleasant as it is, we need to face it sooner rather than later. Procrasination will only lead to a harder problem later.

  9. - 3 beers to springfield - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:45 am:

    Ghost hit the nail on the head. If you’re a business owner with a choice of locating in Illinois or another state, or a resident with the same choice, why would you choose the state that will utlimately have to impose new taxes to pay off its debt without knowing which taxes those will be and how they will affect you? Until Illinois leaders develop and commit to a plan to climb out of the hole, fear of the unknown will continue to drive investors away from Illinois. The other killer to entrepreneurship and small business expansion is the January 1 change to the prevailing wage act requiring any project that gets $1 of public money including loans, which of course will be paid back with interest, to meet the requirements of the PWA. PWA makes sense for roads, bridges and city halls. Applying it to a $50,000 small business loan is ridiculous.

  10. - Boscobud - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 10:52 am:

    Vanilla Man for Governor !!!!!!

  11. - the Patriod - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 11:15 am:

    State programs will alwasy fail to produce long term economic growth. It has been true for the entire history of the world and I fail to see why people believe we can do it better now. We have been adding program after program for 10 years and almost line by line they cost more then projected and produce less than

    We have to stop telling people we are almost out of the economic downturn. Uemployment will hit 13% before the Nov election and maybe 15% before it turns. I said this last fall. Talk to a banker or someone else who has to make a living analyzing the economy. Not a pundit who makes a living advocating one side or the other. The only thing worse then a the reality of bad news is false hope followed by the bad news.

    If you are an elected official that telling people we are 3 to 6 months from turning the corner, you are either lying to save your job, or too dumb to keep it.

  12. - conda67 - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 11:55 am:

    Ghost for gov!

  13. - Squideshi - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 12:13 pm:

    Why is Will County so low compared to its neighbors?

  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 1:09 pm:

    –So, the national numbers are naturally healthier than the Illinois numbers, just as the national numbers are naturally lower for freer market states.–

    Ignorant beyond belief. On so many levels.

  15. - Ghost of John Brown - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    Conda67 - thanks for the props. However, given that our Governor from 2 cycles ago is in prison, and the last governor may be going there soon, I don’t know if it is a job I want. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.

  16. - Rob - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 2:08 pm:

    On the topic of foreclosures, take a look at the Center for Neighborhood Technology’s new report, “Penny Wise and Pounf Fuelish.” It conatins interestesting spatial analysis of foreclsoures. It’s on the Net, so just use your favorit search engine to find it.

  17. - Rob - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 2:08 pm:

    . . . Pound Fuelish.

  18. - Big Ears - Friday, Apr 16, 10 @ 3:22 pm:

    Stop using RealtyTrac for foreclosure data. It’s wrong. Yeah, yeah, “But NPR and the Chicago Tribune use it.” Maybe. But it’s still wrong. There are Illinois counties w/ 40,000 residents that that website claims has 20,000 homes facing foreclosure. The data just isn’t right. Period.

    Not to mention that including a density map graphing foreclosures shows more about the populations of those areas than anything else.

    Sorry for being so cranky, but that website really bothers me (a website that’s thriving because lazy news groups assume it’s accurate, then use it to source batton-down-the-hatches fear stories about the bum economy. Hmph).

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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