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Today’s numbers are grim, but slightly hopeful

Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

* According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in June of 2004, total Illinois employment was 5,932,487. Ten years later, in June of 2014, total Illinois employment was 6,068,068.

That’s a net increase of less than 2.3 percent.

In ten years.


* In November of 2006, the last time the state’s unemployment rate reached a low of 4.4 percent, total Illinois employment was 6,306,527, or almost 4 percent higher than where we were in June of this year.

* According to the BLS, the state’s labor force in November of 2006 stood at 6,599,004. The state’s labor force then reached its peak in January of 2008 at 6,725,940. It’s now at 6,529,781 - an astonishing drop of almost 200,000 people.

* One BLS graph shows we are starting to bounce back a bit. Employment…

* But look at the labor force trend…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    I don’t think the declining participation in the labor force is unique to Illinois.

  2. - Wally - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Nationally, the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since 1978, 36 years ago. If the participation rate was the same today as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be between 9-10%. As it is, U6 unemployment is double digits. Illinois is a microcosm.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Gee, what were Blago, MJM, and Emil doing in 2006 when unemployment was at 4.4%? They must have had all the answers!

    Wish I could say there was magic wand attributable to state government, but there’s not that I know of.

    There’s no energy boom — or retiree boom — which is driving high-growth areas in the United States.

    Mature economies in Western Europe and Japan have been experiencing the same problem for a while.

    The economic rock star of Europe, Germany, is blessed to have an enormous export market in the neighborhood in Russia and the former Soviet republics. No one wants in those countries wants to buy domestically made products because it’s all junk.

    They send Germany energy and raw supplies, Germany sends them cars and other manufactured goods.

    Seriously, what does Russia export except commodities, Stoly and nesting dolls? For crying out loud, the French, of all people, are building their Navy (thanks, NATO ally!).

    Where could you boost Illinois exports, both domestically and internationally? Don’t know. I do know that corn, beans and hogs will never be labor intensive again.

    Have to get more labor working all that land productively with more and different goods and services.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    This past weekend something miraculous and new happened to me. I used my brain for gainful activity.

    I cherry-picked states and ranked them in accordance to the following criteria: one-year job growth percentage, current unemployment rate, percentage of people working at or below the minimum wages, percentage without health insurance, median household income, per capita income and unionization rate.

    Yes I cherry-picked states and data, but my simple research yields some interesting and predictable results.

    Texas, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts and Colorado are among the states I selected.

    Before anybody starts screaming about how we should have more laws like Texas and Florida, these two states are ranked lower than Illinois, and toward the bottom of the list.

    Massachusetts was number one, and two out of the next three are Minnesota and Colorado. North Carolina was the worst.

    Illinois ranks above many of the states I looked at, but it substantially lags behind the top states. Why? You guessed it: jobs. Jobs, jobs, jobs. We need more jobs. If we get them, and I really hope we do, we will be ranked among the top group of states.

  5. - Wally - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    Word, that 4.4% UE was the fault of George Bush!!!!

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    This is not cherry-picking. This is concerning.

    A number of commenters provided some interesting points and counterpoints when Governor Quinn crowed about a reduction in the unemployment rate last week

  7. - Fed Up - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    well the state could hire some people to do the fracking licensing. Which would lead to job growth and revenue but the incompetence of the Quinn admin just cant get it together.

  8. - oz - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    I forgot to mention Illinois Caterpillar corps 17 consecutive months of declining revenues.

    It’s like the person that loses a job and then lives on a credit card until the credit runs out. That’s Illinois. Hanging onto the hopes and dreams of what once was

  9. - Rharaz - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    I think the population in Illinois was around 12.5M in 2004. Now it’s around 13M (~4% increase if I did the math correctly). If the number of working age people increased proportionately, we’ve likely gone backwards, as jobs created has likely not kept up with the increase in potential workers.

  10. - oz - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 3:35 pm:


    * According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in June of 2004, total Illinois employment was 5,932,487. Ten years later, in June of 2014, total Illinois employment was 6,068,068.

    That’s a nice way to spin the numbers but here’s another.

    The labor force size today in Illinois is the same as it was way back in 2006. Where did all the graduates entering the workforce go?

    The number of people in Illinois holding non-farm payroll positions is the same today as it was SIXTEEN YEARS AGO way back in 1998

  11. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    Is the reduction in labor force due to boomer retirements or something else?

  12. - Wally - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    A little labor force reduction from boomer retirements, a lot in younger age groups.

  13. - nothin's easy... - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Is the data reported factoring in the number of people leaving the workforce as a result of retiring? The most popular number being reported is 10,000 new social security recipients per day as the baby boomers move out of the workforce. The first of the baby boomers (born 1945) will turn 69 this year. The final year of the boomers (born 1964) turn fifty in 2014. Boomers represent approximately 33% of the workforce. These all factor into the numbers reported and also show why many employers favor more immigration.

  14. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    A small snapshot. For the UIUC law school class of 2013, the vast majority of those who found employment stayed in IL, somewhere around 70%…now the better question is, of the 70%, will they all stay here within 5 or 10 years. and is IL attracting graduates from other states, and how much.

  15. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    ==- Fed Up - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 2:20 pm:==


  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    For the 28th time:

    Governors do not control economies.

    Presidents do not control economies.

    The Chamber loves to remind us that they are the job creators.

    Except when they are not creating jobs, in which case it is always somehow government’s fault.

  17. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 6:28 pm:

    State government isn’t the only factor in job growth, but it certainly plays an important role in establishing the regulatory climate and fostering economic growth.

    State boundaries mark a difference in minimum wage and labor costs; infrastructure; environmental protection and land use; regulation of labor markets and the workplace, as well as worker’s comp costs and unionization rules; energy production, distribution, conservation, availability and cost; freight transport rates and routes; educational opportunities and skilled labor in the workforce; tax rates; and incentives.

    All of these things help determine everything from site selection for a new business to growth or expansion for an existing business and current employees.

  18. - Wally - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 8:53 pm:

    So YDD, you are saying Madigan, Cullerton, Quinn, Blago and Daley had and have no impact on the Illinois economy?

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 24, 14 @ 10:33 pm:

    –So YDD, you are saying Madigan, Cullerton, Quinn, Blago and Daley had and have no impact on the Illinois economy:–

    Here’s what I’ve come to believe: politicians claim so much credit for the good times, some people believe it. So when the bad times come, people blame them for that.

    The poster boy is Daley. He was given an enormous amount of credit, locally and nationally, for economic growth that he had nothing to do with.

    Meanwhile, he neglected or screwed up some of his core responsibilities, including fiscal stewardship.

    Illinois was booming during most of Blago’s one-and-a-half terms. Does anyone believe that he had anything to do with it? The guy who sat around at home all day in his jogging suits, watching cartoons and dreaming up crooked scores?

    North Dakota ain’t booming because of the governor there, whoever it is. Texas ain’t booming because of Rick Perry’s policies. If it was, MIssissippi would be booming, too.

    It’s important to hold politicians to their core responsibilities of human services — something we neglect to do when we pretend they’re Big Daddies who can make everyone rich.

    Don’t believe the hype of governors, or mayors, when they say they are creating jobs. Consumers create jobs, risk-takers create jobs, and the job of politicians is to do their limited-jobs and get out of the way.

  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 12:17 am:

    –well the state could hire some people to do the fracking licensing. Which would lead to job growth and revenue but the incompetence of the Quinn admin just cant get it together. –

    Won’t argue with that. The law’s passed and there’s money on the table for the taking.

    It’s imperative for the executive to act with some earnestness; light some fires under his peeps to get it going.

    I think sometimes here in Illinois we lose sight of the idea that the major part of being governor is executive, running the show, demanding accountability and being responsible for the executive branch.

    Put it this way: Quinn gave the GA two options this year regarding the budget, both massive tomes filled with supporting data, enormous, time-consuming exercises: one with revenue from extending the tax increase, one without.

    The GA, which can and do whatever it wants, after months of hanging around, shooting the breeze, collecting per diems, and just living away from their homes in their own ways, booted the whole idea of doing anything.

    How cool is that?

    It will be cleaned up later, of course, but seriously, how much time should any executive of a multi-billion enterprise invest in a crew that is determined not to deal with their responsibilities?

    Time would be much better served riding herd on the good folks, no snark, doing their jobs, for the folks.

  21. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 6:27 am:

    the underground economy must be growing

  22. - Sue - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 8:21 am:

    And of course raising the minimum wage is the answer- Wonder if any of those leftist Dems have ever taken a basic course in economics

  23. - reggieandtfe - Friday, Jul 25, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    Hey Sue, I wonder if any of these reactionary professional economists stepped outside of their bubble and looked at the real world.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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