* Continuing government budget cuts are still pushing the unemployment rate up…
Illinois’ jobless rate rose to 8.9 percent in July as the government and leisure and hospitality sectors combined to shed more than 12,000 jobs.
The July rate was up from 8.7 percent in June, but down sharply from 10.1 percent in July 2011, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday. It marked the second consecutive month that the rate has increased. […]
Over the month, the state lost a net of 7,100 jobs. The largest cuts came from governments, 7,900 jobs; and leisure and hospitality, 4,300 positions.
Those losses were partially offset by gains in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 3,000 positions; professional and business services, 2,800 jobs; and manufacturing, 1,700 jobs.
The drought may be impacting some of the unemployment numbers, according to the AP.
* Government also leads the year over year numbers…
The biggest job losses year-over-year in July were in government, down 15,400; and construction and other services, both down 9,800.
The biggest gains were in professional and business services, up 28,600; manufacturing, up 22,400 and leisure and hospitality, up 11,400.
* Underemployment is a huge problem…
Although the state’s unemployment rate has been below 10 percent since October, its so-called underemployment rate has been in the double digits for nearly four years. That rate was 16.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, which is an average of the four most recent quarters of data. It was as high as 18 percent in mid-2010.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal office that oversees the collection and computation of the country’s labor force data, the official unemployment rate captures only those people who are out of work and have looked for a job in the last month. The underemployment rate, on the other hand, captures those people plus those who are working part-time but desire full-time work as well as those who want a job but have not looked in the last month because they are discouraged over their job prospects.
The broader measure, sometimes called the “true” unemployment rate by critics of the government’s more narrow definition, provides a better sense of what improvements still need to be made in the job market, said John Lewis, formerly an economist with Northern Illinois University who now owns a consulting firm in Sycamore.
* And suburban foreclosures are still a big issue…
In June, one of every 155 housing units in Kane County and one of every 254 housing units in DuPage County received a foreclosure filing, according to realtytrac.com. That’s higher than neighboring Cook County, where the rate was 1 in 277; the state of Illinois, where 1 in 355 units was foreclosed; or the entire country’s rate of 1 in 666.
DuPage is the state’s wealthiest county with a median household income of $76,581, according to the most recent U.S. Census. That’s more than $20,000 above the median household income in either Cook County or Illinois, and nearly $25,000 more than the median household income in the U.S. […]
Olson said DuPage County has kept a higher foreclosure rate as people lost jobs, lived off their savings and are now running out of money and going into foreclosure because they can’t find new employment.
Mary Keating, director of community services for DuPage County, also said the problem was related to employment — or lack thereof.
“Ultimately, a lot of the foreclosures are really about job loss.” she said.
Olson’s experience with the DuPage Homeownership Center supports Keating’s claim. She said 65 percent of loan modifications and re-defaults on mortgages the center has seen are due to unemployment or underemployment.