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Monday, Dec 5, 2011

* Here’s something I didn’t know about last month’s job numbers

Illinois led the nation with a 30,000 gain in jobs [in October], followed by California with 25,700 jobs. Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington rounded out the top five states with the biggest gains.

We’re number one on something good for a change? Wow.

The worst state in October? Wisconsin

Wisconsin posted the nation’s biggest payroll losses, with employment dropping by 9,700 jobs in October compared with September, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Tuesday.

The bureau said Wisconsin was the only state with a statistically significant decline in employment, dropping from 2,757,200 jobs in September to 2,747,500 jobs in October.

* But before you begin rejoicing

Workers filing on-the-job injury claims at just a dozen state institutions clustered in southern Illinois collected nearly one-third of the total $127 million awarded in recent years for permanent impairment under Illinois’ troubled workers’ compensation system, The Associated Press has found.

Leading the pack was Menard Correctional Center in Chester, according to an AP analysis of state records. Employees at the prison, now a focus of three fraud investigations into the injury-claim process, collected $19 million in long-term benefits from 2007 through 2010. That’s nearly twice the amount previously reported.

But beyond Menard, the AP study found a pattern of large payouts at 11 other state facilities within 80 miles - including prisons and juvenile detention centers, mental health and developmental centers. In all, the dozen state facilities accounted for $40.7 million of the compensation for injured workers’ long-term impairment during those four years. […]

For example, workers at Menard blamed repetitive stress injuries on operating the 130-year-old prison’s hand-crank locks. But payments - many for the same type of injury - at the more modern Pinckneyville prison, just 35 miles from Chester, ranked second-highest in the state despite a more up-to-date electronic locking system.

Pinckneyville employees received $4.6 million for permanent-injury claims, compared to only $1.6 million at Stateville Correctional Center in Joliet, which opened in 1925 and has twice as many employees.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 8:33 am:

    Nothing wrong with good news — well, obviously some people who comment here won’t like it.

    Those are private sector jobs, too. Public sector jobs are still on the block. From Governing:

    –Data released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed private sector employment rose 140,000 for the month. Significant monthly gains were reported in retail trade, leisure and education and health services.

    The public sector, though, cut another 20,000 jobs in November. Local governments lost 11,000 jobs and have now cut an estimated 180,000 over the past year. State government employment also continued its downward trend, with 5,000 fewer jobs after losing 16,000 from September to October.–

  2. - just sayin' - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 9:08 am:

    Oh no, Radogno, Cross, and Pat Brady have pinned all their election hopes on citizens suffering.

  3. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 9:40 am:

    However long it lasts, let’s cheer the good news for Illinois before people line up to take credit for it.

    Also- I’m rooting for at least one more job loss in Wisconsin.

  4. - Lefty Lefty - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 9:51 am:

    Well said, DuPage Dave.

    One more thing: Cheaters tick me off. When’s the hammer coming down on all the “injured” in southern IL?

  5. - Holdingontomywallet - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 9:55 am:

    “Oh no, Radogno, Cross, and Pat Brady have pinned all their election hopes on citizens suffering.”

    Really? Why don’t you throw in that they enjoy kicking puppies too? I didn’t see their names even mentioned in this story. You seem to have a fetish with GOP bashing - give it a rest.

  6. - Lizard People - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 10:01 am:

    Establishment data helps us know how many jobs are out there, but not how many people are employed. Take a look at the household data.

    Illinois has seen the number of residents that are actually employed consistently decline since January, independent of the Establishment data results. (It declines when they are positive, it declines when they are negative.)

    The number of employed residents rose last month by only 3,000 people. It’s still 102,200 lower than it was before the tax hike. If you look at the non-seasonally-adjusted numbers, the picture was even worse last month.

  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 10:07 am:

    Lizard Man, if you’re going to throw out a bunch of numbers, back them up.

  8. - just sayin' - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 10:13 am:

    Holdingontomywallet, nonsense.

    Awful GOP officials in IL have a fetish with bashing Illinois in search of cheap political gain. That’s what bad leaders do and that’s why the GOP is such a joke in this state. If you’re a Republican seems like you would want something better.

  9. - Shock & Awww(e) - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    I mentioned this in comments last Wednesday (when Rich was feeling under the weather), while simultaneously noting IL lead the nation in job loss during July. The point?

    Let’s not take 1 month out of perspective on either front, for IL or WI.

    Let’s also hope it’s the beginning of a sustained positive trend in IL.

  10. - Plutocrat03 - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 11:00 am:

    I hope the employment numbers are permanent and of high quality. I for one would not trade an improved economy for some political satisfaction like DuPage Dave.

    Illinois is considered to be the second worst run state in the union. I don’t care which party fixes things, but it will have to be fixed if any recovery will be permanent and the citizens are to begin digging their way out of this partisan hole.

  11. - Wickedred - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 11:03 am:

    Rich, thanks for posting information about Workers Comp. I’ve tried to explain this to people at work, and they just don’t understand. I recently had surgery for carpal tunnel and ulnar nerve issues on my left arm (15 years after having it done on my right arm). Within a day of having it, the numbness was gone, the pain that went all the way to my shoulder was gone.
    I only went to the state recommended doctors and they sent me to a mediator for exam. My claim got denied because of all the fraud. Whatever.
    I still had to have the surgery. It took 10 months for it to finally be done under my own insurance.
    It angers me that so many people screw with the system and the people I work with who have true injury have to sit injured waiting for approval while their injuries get worse (I have several examples) due to misuse of the system, because we work in Human Services.
    I agree that claims need to be looked at more closely thanks to the people who abuse the system, but people are being harmed more now because muscle separations, etc. lead to atrophy before surgery and likelihood of decreased success rate of surgery.
    And no, I’m not talking about me. I’ve accepted my fate.

  12. - 1776 - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 11:15 am:

    National unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, lowest since April 2009.

    Illinois’ unemployment rate increased to 10.1 percent, the highest in nearly two years.

    Source: USDOL and IDES

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 11:17 am:

    1776, you’re comparing two different months. New state numbers aren’t out yet.

  14. - Lizard People - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 8:04 pm:

    Compare that steady decline with the Establishment data (BLS):

    December: -5,200
    January: +24,200
    February: +20,300
    March: +2,600
    April: +9,100
    May: +4,900
    June: -7,300
    July: -20,600
    August: +2,900
    September: -1,300
    October: +30,000

  15. - Lizard People - Monday, Dec 5, 11 @ 8:15 pm:

    Or, if you prefer, in chart form:

    Showing modest net increase in jobs (Establishment data) since January, but significant net decrease in employment (Household data).

  16. - Lizard People - Tuesday, Dec 6, 11 @ 12:48 am:

    Err, I labeled the two colors improperly. They should be reversed. (Red is Establishment, Blue is Household.)

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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