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Today’s numbers: 193 and 7.1

Thursday, Jul 17, 2014

* Harold Meyerson

Median compensation in manufacturing is a third again higher than it is in the United States — yet, counter to the wage-cutting conventional wisdom in American boardrooms and economics classrooms, Germany is No. 1 in trade and the United States is No. 193.

* From IDES…

The Illinois unemployment rate fell in June for the fourth consecutive month to reach 7.1 percent while employers created 6,000 jobs, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The data is seasonally adjusted.

The combined April-June reduction of 1.3 points in the unemployment rate is the largest three-month drop since this data series began in 1976. The last time the rate was lower was October 2008 when it was 7.0 percent.

“Today’s numbers remind us that as our economy improves, more still needs to be done.” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “We need to continue to create job-training opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed so they can share in our growing economy.”

The significant drop in the unemployment rate so far this year reflects Illinois’ historical role of following the nation into and out of economic cycles. This pattern generally is expected to continue until global demand lifts Illinois’ manufacturing sector, which in turn would help housing and the construction industry.

The unemployment rate also is in line with other economic indicators. First time jobless claims have been trending lower for the past four years and in June were 6 percent lower than one year ago. First time claims in June also were at the lowest monthly level since 2007. Numbers from the independent Conference Board’s Help Wanted OnLine Survey show Illinois employers in June advertised for more than 212,800 jobs (203,500 seasonally adjusted) and 86 percent sought full-time work.

Employers added +250,900 private sector jobs since job creation returned to Illinois. Leading sectors are Professional and Business Services (+107,900, +13.8 percent); Education and Health Services (+59,100, +7.2 percent); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+44,700, +4.0 percent); and Leisure and Hospitality (+34,600, +6.8 percent). Government continues to lead job loss (-22,100, -2.6 percent.)

In June, the number of unemployed individuals fell -30,600 (-6.2 percent) to 461,700. Total unemployed has fallen -291,800 (-38.7 percent) since the rate peaked at 11.4 percent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    European states protecting their workers, while the United States sells them to make a profit.

  2. - Jimbo - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Well I generally never trust statistics lol, but this makes Illinois look a bit better. Lowest first time jobless claims since 2007 is pretty striking. Of course I think our population has shrunk since then, so…

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    How many people left the workforce?

  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    The performance of the German economy blows away a lot of the usual talking points regarding wages, unions, family leave, universal child care and universal health care.

    Keep in mind, Germany has attained its economic success while incorporating the backward old Stalinist economy of East Germany.

    Fact is, Germany has finally conquered Europe without firing a shot.

  5. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:11 pm:


    I’m so sorry. Whenever there’s good economic news about Illinois, something overtakes me, and I go into knee-jerk reactions and upchuck talking points. It must be Club for Growth-itis, or AFP disease.

    We still need to do better, but we’ll take the good news also, and take ourselves a little further back from the mental cliff.

    As far as Germans and unionization, Volkswagen Group of America just announced that its top labor representative, Bernd Osterloh, will be on its board of directors. From what I read about him, he fights for labor and unionization all over the world. This may be a signal that VW is about to accept the UAW in Tennessee. Unionization is needed to have a Works Council.

  6. - Johnny Utah - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    The drop in the jobless rate from 8.4 has been driven by people leaving the workforce. The number of unemployed fell by 30,000.

    Before getting giddy, let’s wait til tomorrow see how many of those people simply dropped out of the workforce.

  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:18 pm:

    JU, the baby boom started in 1946 - 68 years ago. Lots and lots of people around that age are leaving the workforce.

  8. - oz - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:21 pm:


    Don’t drive the economy by looking in the rear view mirror.

    GE is looking to sell its appliance division. Microsoft is laying off 18,000.

    Motorola mobility has been sold to China and will be leaving Chicago shortly is my guess as the manufacturing has already left Texas

    1,100 teachers have been let go in Chicago. Subtract that from the supposedly 6,000 Illinois jobs created.

    Fact of the matter is that Illinois has yet to regain the lost jobs from this depression.

    More importantly, corporate mergers are once again approaching the pre crash levels that originally created this job crisis.

    Ask the people that lost their full-time living wage jobs and had them replaced with part-time min-wage jobs, ask them how they feel about this fantastic economic recovery!

    Job number propaganda designed to conjure up great illusions of a future, wealth, careers. lolololol

    Illinois workforce is DECREASING and that’s where your unemployment decline is. People left the workforce and are no longer counted and that is cheered as a success. Wonderful, just wonderful.

  9. - oz - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Oh yeah and the help wanted advertisement nonsense touted to blur the line with actual jobs created.

    One should take note. As Sears was doing mass layoffs and store closings in Illinois, Sears posted a large number of jobs.

    However like most companies doing layoffs. Many if not most of the advertised jobs were never filled. Another illusion for investors and employees to hang their hopes on when there is no hope. A smoke screen.

  10. - Illinois Manufacturer - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    I actually make stuff in this state and all the stuff that lobbyists here say hurts me and makes me want to go to Texas really doesn’t my problem is China. I am celebrating today because my product matches a Chinese Price point and it is much higher quality. I think those wage rates are high but still may be affected by autos. Sadly we just don’t pay what we used to we cant It doesn’t matter if you are union or non union. Its not about Germany it is about China . I was really happy to see the steel industry and the USW filing the anti-dumping complaints Rauner or Quinns plan does not affect me much . I might be unhappy if I was in Commercial printing which numerically is the largest number of manufacturers in Illinois. but a sales tax is not their biggest problem. We pay a little when we do some retail in state. Anyway regardless we are staying here in Illinois and the US

  11. - Bill White - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Another feature of German manufacturing success is a much smaller gap between wages paid the general workforce and wages paid the rock star CEOs.

    A typical German CEO earns 147 times what a typical worker earns.

    A typical U.S. CEO earns 354 times what a typical worker earns.

  12. - oz - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Ahhhh, the old baby boomers are retiring and leaving the workforce line. Care to back up that statement.

    Seems to me that because of the quantitative easing that has destroyed boomers fixed income investment they have no choice but to continue to work until they drop.

  13. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:33 pm:


    There’s always at least one in the crowd who simply can’t take good news for what it is . . .

  14. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:34 pm:

    a great economy and a World Cup Win. die nationalmannschaft is not just about football.

  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:36 pm:

    ===Seems to me that because of the quantitative easing that has destroyed boomers fixed income investment ===


    You’re funny. Thanks for that.

  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:51 pm:


    Re-read what Rich wrote and then let me add:

    Lots of people who were planning on retiring over the past five years had to postpone their plans after the crash.

    Look, Republicans have pointed to the unemployment rate as THE barometer of the economy and blamed Quinn.

    You are a hypocrite to say it means nothing now and deny Quinn credit.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    == How many people left the workforce? ==

    Mar 2014 - Labor Force: 6575800 Unemploy. Rate: 8.4
    Apr 2014 - Labor Force: 6565700 ue rate: 7.9
    May 2014 - Labor Force: 6551500 ue rate: 7.5
    Jun 2014 - Labor Force: 6529800 ue rate: 7.1

  18. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    In fairness, we did add 6,000 nonfarm payroll jobs this report, which is positive thing no matter what party you belong to.

    It may not be good enough, but it is still an improvement over the prior 3 reports.

  19. - Apocolypse Now - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    =The performance of the German economy blows away a lot of the usual talking points regarding wages, unions, family leave, universal child care and universal health care.=
    Let’s not forget their tort system being less plaintiff friendly, an education system, with tracking of students for higher education in place, military spending at 1.3% of GDP, extremely low level of government corruption, a population made up 92% Germans, restrictions on asylum and immigration, and a universal health care system funded 77% by the government and 23% by private sector. The United States pays billions of dollars annually to keep a military presence in Germany.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:13 pm:


  21. - Jimmy - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:20 pm:

    I doubt that “wages” takes into the universal healthcare and state sponsored retirement systems of countries outside of the US? I think I’d rather have slightly lower wages in exchange for not having to save to retirement and healthcare costs throughout my entire life. Plus, many of our competitors offer 30 days of annual vacation. Not sure if this is an “apples to apples” study.

  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    –a population made up 92% Germans, restrictions on asylum and immigration,–

    Is there some other Germany? Free movement of labor in the EU. Plenty of Turkish workers in Germany as well.

    The UN has immigrants as 11.9% of the German population, 14.3% of U.S. population.

  23. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    == The last time the rate was lower was October 2008 when it was 7.0 percent. ==

    A shrinking labor force measure explains this more than job creation or anything else. We may report similar rates, yet we have nearly 100,000 fewer people “employed” now than in Oct 2008.

    Oct 2008 - Labor Force: 6,623,700 Employed: 6,162,800 Unemployed: 460,900 UE Rate: 7.0

    Jun 2014 - Labor Force: 6,529,800 Employed: 6,068,100 Unemployed: 461,700 UE Rate: 7.1

  24. - Big Muddy - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    FKA is spot on. Drop in UE rate is directly related to the decline in the Labor Participation Rate. People have simply given up looking for work. Any politician trumpeting these numbers has very little knowledge of what’s really going on. Explains why Quinn is very proud of the UE rate today!

  25. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    How do you figure that Baby Boomers aren’t leaving the labor force?

    The average American retires at 62.

  26. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 6:26 pm:

    Let’s celebrate some good news for Illinois, people. The change in the proportion of people leaving the workforce is a national trend that started before Quinn became governor and has nothing to do with the month-to-month data.

    Illinois suffered longer than most states from the recent Great Recession and has taken longer to emerge from a bad job situation. So without giving Quinn any credit or blame, just be glad that more of your friends and neighbors are working and paying taxes.

    Every piece of news doesn’t need to be the start of a partisan argument.

  27. - Big Muddy - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 7:08 pm:

    BLS stats show about 600,000 less people working in Illinois now than in 2009. Saying the UE rate dropping to where it is is good news fails to look at the whole picture. But then again looking at our states finances the joke is on me. It appears none of the state leadership looks at the whole picture. Ever.

  28. - Johnny Utah - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 8:33 pm:

    Rich and wordslinger,

    The boomers are the age group that has been seeing increasing labor force participation through all of this. That’s because they don’t have the money they need to retire.

    Prime working age adults are leading the dropoffs.

    The drop in the unemployment rate now is likely related to jobless benefits being cut to a maximum of 26 weeks just about 26 weeks ago.

    Illinois’ labor force participation has fallen more than anywhere in the Midwest, possible more than anywhere nationally. Haven’t looked that one up.

  29. - Johnny Utah - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 8:41 pm:

    The charts depicted here clear up that issue. It’s not a boomers thing. It’s an Illinois thing.

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 17, 14 @ 8:54 pm:

    Johnny, still pushing state boundaries and policies as determining factors in a global economy.

    What percentage would you say state boundaries and policies play in the economy? Is Illinois really one economy, Cairo to Chicago?

  31. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 12:10 am:


    Let me slow this down for you.

    Yes, macroeconomics exists. Borders with policies have an effect, as attested to by every piece of economic literature ever. Please let me know when you’re willing to join this reality.

    The previous links I posted showed that labor participation is declining most among prime working age adults. Not boomers.

    But this all misses the point. EVEN IF boomer participation rate is dropping [which it hasn’t been by much if at all], labor force participation rate could decline, but the absolute size of the labor force should not shrink. It should grow.

    We have an ever-growing population. The number of working age people is increasing, even though boomers are dropping out. The generation behind the boomers is BIGGER than boomers, and so on.

    If the number provided by “Formerly Known As…” for June 2014 is correct, Illinois’ labor force shrank by 21,000 in June alone. That is an absolute disaster. The working age population is growing in absolute numbers every month, but the labor force is shrinking.

    IL labor force is now 200,000 smaller than in January 2008. Meanwhile IL working age population is now 278,000 larger than in January 2008. That’s not boomers. That’s a catastrophe.


  32. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 3:14 am:

    (193) we don`t make things we buy things to service the rich overlords overseas companies (buy american)

  33. - Big Muddy - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 4:23 am:

    Great data Johnny Utah.

  34. - Wally - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 7:41 am:

    I posted similar info as JU 2-3 weeks ago and was taken to task. There are several articles online backing up the info FKA, Big Muddy and JU have posted.

    U6 unemployment nationally is still double digits, I believe.

  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 8:23 am:

    Yes Johnny, macroeconomics exists, and it belies your argument that Illinois is some self-contained economic entity.

    There are vast sectors of the Illinois economy in which state government policy has little or no impact. Agriculture (kind of a big one). Finance. Logistics. Markets and federal policies are vastly more impactful.

    Look at Illinois largest corporations. What does state government have to do with the success of Abbott, McDonalds, Walgreens, et al. CAT and Deere will tell you workers comp ia an issue, but they don’t pay state taxes so that is not.

    You can’t talk macro in one breath and argue that the state is a unified economy driven by state policy. That’s just silly.

  36. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 8:50 am:

    This discussion is beyond silly. You have to literally know nothing about economics to take your position.

    One of the first lessons you learn in Econ is that decisions are made on the margin. It’s the theory of marginal utility. State policies are far more than marginal for all entities in a state. That means they have a huge impact on the margin, which means they have a huge impact.

    Your theory dictates that the differences in economic outcomes between the US and India are happenstance. They’re both just boats riding on the waves of the global economy. Same with the comparison between Indiana and Illinois, or Texas and California. One just rode the wrong wave, right?

    The whole state economics doesn’t exist is the last resort after all hard data goes against you. You can do better than that.

  37. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    The focus should not be on the McDonalds HQ, the Walgreens HQ, etc. It should be on the hundreds or thousands of franchisees of each of those corporations within the state.

    Those hundreds of stores are where the employment is, where the money is made for local Illinoisans, the first jobs are worked, the management experience is gained, etc.

    Those are the entities that get dinged by the marginal effect of state policies. That is where economics is happening and where the tides are moving. That’s where you should focus your attention.

  38. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    –Your theory dictates that the differences in economic outcomes between the US and India are happenstance. They’re both just boats riding on the waves of the global economy. Same with the comparison between Indiana and Illinois, or Texas and California. One just rode the wrong wave, right?–

    LOL, did I say that? Hmmm. As far as India and the United States goes, I’m guessing there might be a little more than contemporary government policies that explains current economic conditions.

    Things like, I don’t know, all the history that has come before, resources, culture, geography, population, religion, minor things like that, lol.

    But you raise an interesting point about Illinois and Indiana. Neighbors, same geography, same lake access, same soil, almost mirror images.

    How did Illinois’ economy becomes to be more than 2.5 times larger as measured by GDP, and it’s population twice as large?

    Was it state government policy? You must think so.

    I’d suggest it was more private sector innovation and entrepreneurship that bred a more diverse and dynamic economy.

    But it you think state government is the answer to everything, go with it. I’d suggest it’s role is to supply the basics — transportation, education, public safety, public welfare.

  39. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    Johnny, what does state government have to do with the success of McDonald’s or Walgreens franchises? That’s wholly dependent on consumer demand.

    You’re almost on to something though where state government can be a large factor, good or bad, on the micro level and that is small business. It varies in degree from industiry to industry, but they get the s— end of the stick when it comes to state tax policy and can be subjected to ridiculous start-up regulation.

    Demand is still the major driving force for small business, but state government could be doing much more on the margins when it comes to taxes and regulation.

  40. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:45 am:


    If you study the history of economics, you would know that demand comes from supply.

    Human demand is endless. I have demand for 18 helicopters. But my ability to express my demand is what matters. That depends upon my ability to enrich myself by producing something that other want. Demand comes from supply.

    This was first pointed out by Jean Bapiste Say in Say’s law: “Aggregate supply creates its own aggregate demand”

  41. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    LOL, Johnny, hows your business selling ice to eskimos going? Coals to Newcastle?

    You gotta get out of the dormroom, dude.

    You have an apparently endless supply of b.s. and I’m buying none of it.

  42. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Ah yes. The ultimate refuge of the intellectually bankrupt.

    “I’m plugging my ears, calling you names, and ignoring everything you say.”

    Welcome home, little buddy!

  43. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    Dude, when you regress into non-sensical academic scenarios such as “I have a demand for 18 helicopters,” I don’t think it’s a sign of intellectual bankruptcy to call you out on yanking your crank.

  44. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 11:43 am:


    The intellectual bankruptcy is obvious because wordslinger repeatedly misunderstands the current jobs numbers, then makes obvious errors in understanding macroeconomic issues that were worked out hundreds of years ago.

    Knowing what the hell I’m talking about makes me someone who knows what the hell he’s talking about. Call me a crank, fine, the problem is you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    I have demand for two houses and three cars. Better?

  45. - Wally - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Everyone must agree that the UE numbers are, uh, not really accurate because of the number of people not counted. Why? Because there has been no counter to the info JU, FKA and Big Muddy posted.

    Somehow, the discussion morphed in to macroeconomics.

  46. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:45 pm:


    The unemployment rate can be misleading. June was really bad. The work force shrank more in June than in any single month in the history of Illinois.

  47. - Wally - Friday, Jul 18, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    JU, expect the workforce to shrink a LOT the next 4 months, leading up to the election. I would be very surprised to not see “declines” in the UE each month. Remember October 2012?

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