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*** UPDATED x2 *** Fun with numbers

Monday, Aug 18, 2014

* From a press release…

Bruce Rauner today issued the following statement in response to new data showing Illinois leads the Midwest in job losses this year while thousands of Illinoisans have left the workforce.

“Illinois should be home to a vibrant workforce with a booming economy but thanks to Pat Quinn we are still leading the Midwest in job losses. With higher taxes and fewer jobs, Illinois isn’t working under Pat Quinn.”

According to the BLS data, Illinois has lost 4,200 jobs since the beginning of the year while its neighbors have made large gains: Indiana has gained more than 26,000 jobs, Wisconsin has gained nearly 11,000 jobs, Missouri has gained more than 31,000 jobs and Iowa has gained 6,000 jobs.

Additionally, the data shows more than twice as many people have left the Illinois workforce than have gained jobs over Pat Quinn’s time in office. As media noted today, while the unemployment rate has declined, “BLS numbers show much of that is due to people leaving the workforce.”

That’s certainly one way to spin it and it’s valid.

* But the BLS data also show some fairly strong gains over the past three months. Illinois has added almost 18,000 jobs since the end of April.

We need more. Lots and lots more. But the recent three-month trend ain’t horrible.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Quinn campaign response…

As Governor Quinn today announced 500 good-paying jobs by an Illinois company, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner and one of his top allies - which he has personally funded the tune of $525,000 - attacked the Illinois economy and rooted for Illinois to fail even as Illinois’ unemployment rate went down to its lowest point since August 2008. It makes sense that Bruce Rauner is desperately trying to undermine any positive economic news for our state because it’s undermining the very basis for his bash-Illinois campaign. The Illinois Policy Institute, which agrees with Mr. Rauner’s position to cut the minimum wage, and Rauner are working feverishly to spread their message of doom and gloom even as the economic outlook in Illinois has significantly improved.

Below is a quick fact check on Rauner’s claims:

Rauner Falsehood: Illinois is in an economic death spiral.

Fact: Just last week, unemployment fell to 6.8%, its lowest point since August 2008 and significantly lower than when Governor Quinn took office. This is the steepest 12-month unemployment decline in the last three decades.

Rauner Falsehood: Illinois leads the Midwest in job losses this year.

Fact: The arbitrary seven-month timeframe is cherry picked by those rooting for the state to fail. A full year period tells a much more accurate and honest story. Over the past 12 months, the state has created 30,500 jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.2 to 6.8—the largest decrease in three decades, and 127,000 more people are working. Further, Illinois saw net job creation last month, with 11,200 private sector jobs created, and a net job creation of 10,300 jobs because of government job loss. Yet left unsaid by Bruce Rauner is that he has proposed a Tax Plan that would slash the budget by EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS which would lead to mass layoffs of state employees and drive the unemployment rate sky high.

Rauner Falsehood: With higher taxes and fewer jobs, Illinois isn’t working under Pat Quinn.

Fact: Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, Illinois is making a comeback. While there’s more work to do, unemployment is significantly lower than when Quinn took office. According to a new study on businesses, Illinois’ overall tax burden ranks lower than about half the country - read about the study here.

Republican False Claim: Unemployment isn’t really going down - people are just leaving the workforce.

Fact: In fact, Illinois had a net gain of 11,200 private sector jobs last month. We have 127,000 more people working today than compared to last year.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The Rauner campaign responds…

17,157 Illinoisans Exited The Workforce In July, The Third-Largest Drop In Labor Force Participation Since At Least 2004. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)

21,637 Illinoisans Exited The Workforce In June, The Largest Drop In Labor Force Participation Since At Least 2004. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)

Illinois’ Labor Force Has Been Dropping Every Month Since April, For A Cumulative Total Of 63,083 People Who Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Do you treat the job trend like Global Warming and worry about the long term trend or do you get really thrilled about a cooler than normal summer?

    Any job creation is good job creation, but we need a lot more.


  2. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    I wonder if Rauner’s team gets giddy when there is bad economic news. Do they cheer when they learn that unemployment declines are due to people leaving the workforce? Do they laugh when they learn Wisconsin and Indiana are adding more jobs?


  3. - Western Ave. Doug - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    ==I wonder if Rauner’s team gets giddy when there is bad economic news.==

    Is this more of the unpatriotic stuff? I wonder if Quinn’s team get sick to the stomach every time they have to spin Illinois economic track record under Quinn as a “Comeback”?


  4. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    how many baby boomers retire each day and freeze there property taxes?(your sing to the choir)


  5. - VanillaMan - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    He is talking like a challenger.
    Should be no surprise, right?


  6. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:25 pm:

    Yes, 47th Ward. There is nothing Republicans and business associations love more than bad economic news.

    Moreover, they are doing everything they can to try to convince businesses not to locate in Illinois, or if they are here, to leave unless they get a big taxpayer payout.

    It is how those who make a living in politics and lobbying get paid.

    Why business groups in particular contribute to efforts to drive our economy into an iceberg is beyond me. Sure, there is the smug satisfaction of passing a bill or electing a governor, but beyond that it is just terrible for the bottom line.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I’ve learned from some in recent days that the only thing worse than a 9.2% unemployment rate is a 6.8% unemployment rate.


  8. - Wally - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    Actually this R hates it when we constantly receive bad economic news. But, when 63,000 people drop out of the labor force in a 4 month span(April thru July) and the Quinnsters trumpet a drop in UE from 8.4% to 6.8%, people need to tell the truth about how those “numbers” were created.

    The labor force is now at its lowest level since June 2006. Think about that. If the economy was really improving, more and more people would be looking for work. Apparently they are not. That, or the numbers are being manipulated. Hmmmmm.


  9. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    –That, or the numbers are being manipulated. Hmmmmm.–

    Wally, save us some time, and just give us the handful of people who are not in on any of your conspiracies.


  10. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    @Wally:

    The numbers were “created” the same way they have always been created. However, when it doesn’t fit the narrative that people want to tell then you change the topic to another statistic that fits the story you want to tell.

    The bottom line is that there will never ever be sufficient good news for some. Some will always turn a positive into a negative.

    I just wonder how Mr. Rauner and his supporters will react if the numbers don’t look a lot different if he manages to win the election. I’m sure the story will once again turn to the numbers that suit the story that you want to tell.


  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    ===The labor force is now at its lowest level since June 2006. Think about that.===

    I have thought about that. One possible answer is that, thanks to Obamacare, people don’t need to work to get health insurance. What proportion of those 63,000 decided to retire now that they could get affordable health insurance on their own? A tiny percentage? A modest percentage? A significant percentage?

    If you accept the current right wing dogma, these are all just people who’ve given up. The truth, like most things, is a bit more complicated.


  12. - Doug - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    How long to make up the losses just for this year by adding 6,000 jobs a month?


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    The IDES press release highlighted Illinois’ unemployment rate declining for 5 consecutive months.

    During that time, Illinois’ labor force fell by 55,888 people while Illinois’ total nonfarm payroll increased by 5,600. Nearly 10 times more people gave up looking for a job than got a job.

    Let us hope job creation continues picking up and this report is the beginning of a more positive trend, because that trend is troubling.


  14. - Soccermom - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    Okay. In 2012, there were about 160,000 births recorded. So let me ask this — of the “discouraged workers” who withdrew from the Illinois workforce, how many withdrew because they decided to stay home with a new baby?

    I don’t think that accounts for all of the people who left the workforce — 47th makes a good point as well — but given that the “baby boom echo” generation is moving into its 30s, I’m guessing there are a good number of young moms included in that statistic.


  15. - walker - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    The simple straightforward comparisons to our neighbors on job creation, are fair criticism of Illinois’ economy. We are doing better very recently, but the trend must continue.

    The only real beef with these simple critiques, is the assumption that the governor has much to do with it. Any governor has almost nothing to do with these trends.

    Our next governor, whether Quinn or Rauner, will benefit from the current cycling, and will of course take credit for it all.


  16. - Skeptic - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    Soccermom and 47th said what I was going to say. Seems to me that an ideal economy would be one where only one parent *needs* to work. By that logic a large drop in people seeking employment(i.e. moms and dads secure enough that they can stay at home) would be a good thing.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    I’m glad that the last three months have been better for Illinois. I root for this state to improve economically.

    We must also keep in mind the huge job losses Illinois sustained in the public sector. Those are good paying jobs that help the economy.

    I have looked at economic data and quality of life data using 17 states and a bunch of different metrics, like median household income, percentage of people who don’t have health insurance, percentage of people working at or below the minimum wage, etc.

    Illinois ranks better than states like Indiana and Texas, except for job growth. We lag behind almost all states in my group, regardless of the states’ politics, tax rates, etc.

    If we improve in job growth, we will surpass many states on my list. That is our weakness, job growth.


  18. - Wally - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Likely many women having babies returned to the workforce after 3 months or so. Every friend of my daughter who has given birth in the last 2-3 years has returned to work. Every one of them! And, with population increases, more work age adults would enter the labor force.


  19. - Wally - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Demoralized, how do you interpret the numbers? Analyze them and provide your very candid opinion of what they mean. Calculate the UE rate if there was a reasonable decrease in the labor force.

    Why would 63,000 people drop out of the labor force the last 4 months when supposedly the economy is improving and more jobs would be available?


  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    Flipping through this week’s print edition of Crain’s…..

    – Front page story on Chicago’s booming, record-breaking commercial real estate market (must be for all those welfare and unemployment offices)

    – Chicago growth of “high-tech software jobs” ranks sixth in the nation, behind San Francisco, Austin, San Francisco peninsula, Manhattan and Silicon Valley (strange, no Sheboygan or Elkhart).

    See Wally, even Crain’s is in on “the manipulation. Hmmmmmm.”


  21. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    @Wally:

    My point was that you act like the numbers are being made up. Like they are being magically pulled from somewhere they haven’t been before. That is not true. You choose to focus on different numbers. That’s fine. But don’t act like its some big manipulation of the numbers because it ain’t. People are going to tell the story using the numbers that back up their story. You have chosen your story. The Governor has chosen his.

    And you can say it as many times as you want but the economy is improving. It’s improving very, very slowly but it is. Wouldn’t it be great if we all acknowledged that, acknowledged that it needs to get even better, and then work to do something about it? Instead we have the Debby Downer’s out there who do nothing but proclaim everything is bad news, whether it is or not.


  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    ==Illinois has added almost 18,000 jobs since the end of April.==

    Might want to note that little tidbit of info too @Wally. But I suppose that’s not good news to you either.


  23. - 4 percent - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:23 pm:

    While the federal government breaks out new jobs by FT and PT, the Illinois Department of Unemployment Security does not. So, based on federal numbers, nearly 80 percent of new jobs are PT. While I’ll take them, these are not jobs like manufacturing, tech, and others that support a family.


  24. - Wally - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    Word, your post at 4:16 does not even address my posts and my point.


  25. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    Regarding the second update, any chance Rauner’s numbers are skewed by teachers going on summer break?


  26. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    Gee Wally, can’t you operate outside your own self-created comfort zone, lol?


  27. - Wally - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    Sure Word. You really enjoyed saying, Gee Wally, didn’t you? Admit it!!!


  28. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    47th Ward - That is part of why there are two common measures. “Seasonally adjusted” and “Not seasonally adjusted”. The “seasonally adjusted” numbers tend to be used as the benchmark measures.

    It appears the Rauner release properly refers to “seasonally adjusted” numbers, just as the Quinn release does for all of their numbers except the == 127,000 more people working == claim.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:56 pm:

    So what’s the Rauner jobs plan? How will he grow jobs in Illinois while keeping our median incomes higher than our neighbors, and while not increasing the number of people working at or below the minimum wage, and not increasing the number of people without health insurance?

    As for myself, I am intrigued with investment in education right out of high school, to help train people for the technological jobs of today. I believe that Tennessee is doing a plan like this, and I think Germany has been doing this also.


  30. - 47th Ward - Monday, Aug 18, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    Thanks FKA. Wishful thinking on my part.


  31. - Anon. - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:36 am:

    ==Okay. In 2012, there were about 160,000 births recorded. So let me ask this — of the “discouraged workers” who withdrew from the Illinois workforce, how many withdrew because they decided to stay home with a new baby?==

    Probably about the same number as decided to go back into the work force when their youngest became old enough.


  32. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Aug 19, 14 @ 8:53 am:

    There’s really no way to spin the lost jobs, and loss of personal income and state revenues,into a good thing.

    If less people are working, less people are paying taxes and buying things that generate sales tax revenue. If the Dems like wordslinger, YDD, and Demoralized don’t see that as a mjor problem, they’ve got their head in the sand.

    It’s pretty simple. When less people are generating tax revenue, the state “leadership” has a responsiblity to decrease spending appropriations proportionately. They don’t because their sustained power is based upon taking from some to give to others who vote, campaign, abnd contribute to them. Few oneither side of the aisle in Springfield prioritize reasonable fiscal policy over political bribery.

    You guys are really stretching on the reasons for the incredible shrinking Illinois workforce. When people hav an option of working, going on welfare, or relying on one wage earner per family, what usually drives the decision is how much income the second wage earner can make if they work. If the additional SNAP, Medicaid, and other public assitance sources make having a second worker getiing a small amount of money to do a distasteful job at great inconvenience, they drop out of the workforce and stop paying taxes.

    if good, great paying jobs are avaialble for them, they make the sacrifice and go to work.

    The problem is that Illinois anti-business policies have destroyed the creation of those good paying jobs, so many Moms (and Dads) decide to stay home, let the spouse work and get public benefits greaster than they would have received had the second spouse worked.

    Businesses other than agriculture and real esttate have a choice as to where they locate. Until we get leadership that understands that improving the business climate for ALL instead of special payoffs is the only way to go to create those jobs worth seeking, we’ll continue to decline and dig an even deeper hole in Springfield.

    I think that Rauner gets this. I’m certain Quinn doesn’t, or at least doesn’t have the guts to admit it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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