* The AP fact checks some of Gov. Pat Quinn’s claims about the Illinois economy during his State of the State address…
Quinn said Illinois has added 280,000 private-sector jobs since recovery began — officially that was in January 2010 for Illinois — and that statewide unemployment is at its lowest level in almost five years.
“In fact, since last May, Illinois has led the Midwest in new jobs created,” the governor said.
The first two points are accurate, but if you compare it with other states, Illinois doesn’t always stack up well.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, a net 276,800 private-sector jobs have been added in Illinois since January 2010. That’s a 5.6 percent increase.
In that time, many Midwestern states have done better. Wisconsin’s private-sector job base has grown by 5.7 percent, Indiana’s by 8.8 percent, Michigan’s by 9.2 percent and North Dakota’s — driven by the state’s petroleum boom — leads the way at 30.2 percent.
Unemployment, which reached a recession-high of 11.3 percent in January 2010, was at 8.6 percent in December, the most recent month available from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. That’s its lowest point since the 8.5 percent rate in February 2009.
But the current unemployment rate is the third highest among the 50 states, lower only than in Nevada and Rhode Island.
Interesting stuff. Go read it.