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Unemployment rate falls, but growth lags, wages drop

Friday, Jun 20, 2014

* The state’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.5 percent last month. That’s the third straight month of falling numbers. Good news, right?

While the Census numbers are lagging, there’s still much cause for concern

But a new census report also released today said that Cook County gained only 27,500 jobs, an increase of 1.1 percent, between December 2012 and December 2013, which was the smallest increase among the 10 largest counties [in the nation].

By comparison, statewide employment was up 1.0 percent during that time and jobs grew 1.8 percent nationwide.

Illinois also had two counties with the biggest job losses in percentage terms last year. Downstate St. Clair County lost 3.1 percent of its jobs and Peoria County lost 2.2 percent, tied with a county in New York for the second-worst job loss in the nation.

* And it that’s not enough

Average weekly wages in Cook County declined 1.0 percent to $1,174 over the same period, while McHenry County wages were down 8.8 percent, the largest drop in Illinois and nearly the largest drop in the nation.

Much of the decline came in manufacturing, where McHenry County average weekly wages were down 30.7 percent to $1,107, according to census data. The county lost 388 manufacturing jobs last year with the closure of several plants, or about 1.4 percent of its factory workforce, said Julie Courtney, director of the McHenry County Workforce Network, which administers job training programs.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

50 Comments
  1. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Same thing is going on nationally - the new jobs aren’t as good as the jobs lost during the Great Recession. A lot of people belive the unemployment rate is a very cloudy statistic because many people in the Great Recession stopped looking and aren’t counted.


  2. - Mason born - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    The Weekly Wages decline is almost more of a danger. As the cost of the things we cannot avoid buying go up (food, fuel, etc.), it is putting more downward pressure on service jobs. Hard to go to the movies and dinner when its $45 bucks for a tank of Gas and 3.50/lb for hamburger.


  3. - job man - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Is this supposed to be good news?


  4. - The Prince - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Extremely cloudy statistic. If it wasn’t on Capitol Fax, I wouldn’t even read anything beyond the headline. Days are bad and they are getting worse for many Illinoisans and Americans generally.


  5. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    In April private-sector employment in Illinois fell by 7,800 jobs (the worst number in the country btw) over the past year 28,700 jobs

    In Wisconsin they added 7,600 jobs last month and 44,000 jobs over the last year…

    If you dig in that report you might find a pony and no matter how the Quinn campaign tries to spin it, we are lagging just about everyone in the midwest..

    Heck even Nevada added more jobs in the past year (42,800)

    Illinois did add more jobs in the 12 months ending April 2013 (38,700) than Nevada (26,800) over the same period…

    However keep in mind the population of Nevada is about 3 million people, Illinois 13 million…

    Ohio with 11 million people added 8,000 last month, 59,900 over the last year and added 63,900 in the 12 months preceding April 2013. Again all better than Illinois…

    But then again, as I am sure someone is going to point out

    – Those states are different
    – This is somehow Rauner’s fault…


  6. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    I would suggest you go to
    http://www.jec.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=statebystatereport

    at look at the various states.


  7. - Rob Roy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    BULL! political math. M.born is correct


  8. - Rod - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    The McHenry County wage decline data is very disturbing to read.


  9. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Not a surprise. :(


  10. - Illiana - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Interesting link One Man.

    It makes New Hampshire look like the place to be & makes Indiana look worse than Illinois. I was also suprised at how poorly Tennessee is fairing.

    Not at all surprised at Illinois though. This always happens whenever a jurisdiction engages in austerity; regardless of whether austerity comes through tax increases, spending cuts, or a combination of the two.


  11. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    Illiniana

    Not sure why you say it makes Indiana look worse..

    Indiana added 205,700 jobs since 2010 (an increase of 8.8%) vs Illinois at 246,900 (an increase of 5.2%) also Indiana added jobs last month.

    There are 148,900 more people unemployed in Illinois that at the start of the rescission vs. 33,800 in Indiana (the population of Illinois just about double that of Indiana) so that last number is really bad for Illinois…

    So why does Indiana look worse than Illinois, what am I missing?


  12. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    Bad news. Private sector jobs fell by 5,600. 14,500 people left the work force, which is what drove the unemployment down.

    Illinois has lost private sector jobs 4/5 months this year, for a total loss of 60,000 jobs on the year.

    *coughcomebackcough*


  13. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    In even worse news, Indiana has created 35x as many private sector jobs as Illinois in the last decade. With an economy half the size.


  14. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    Here we go with the Indiana nonsense again . . .


  15. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    Demoralized,

    Ok, in terms of job growth, employment why is it nonsense

    Also if you think the comparison is unfair open to a state we should use. Ohio (closer in size) and has at least one of every major league sports team.

    Or are we incomparable to everyone else?


  16. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    @OneMan:

    I’m not a fan of this constant harping about Indiana, Wisconsin, or any other state. We’re Illinois and I prefer to focus on Illinois and why we aren’t some other state. If making comparisons works for you more power to you. I have no interest in it.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    ===- Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 14 @ 7:24 am:

    Perspective?

    Indiana? Just over half of Illinois’ population.

    Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota. Kentucky, Iowa …

    All below half of Illinois’ population.

    Pennsylvania and Ohio, 6th and 7th, in population are close, but not charging ahead to take the 5th spot.

    After Pennsylvania and Ohio? Georgia, which is just over 3/4 of Illinois’ population.===

    Just for argument’s sake…not picking any side in this..

    Illinois is still not Indiana.


  18. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    So we shouldn’t use other states or other entities as a metric?

    Well that’s one way to feel better about ourselves…


  19. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    ==So we shouldn’t use other states or other entities as a metric?==

    Not when you don’t have a point other than to say that are at X and we are at Y? So what? That doesn’t tell you squat. I’ll continue to keep pushing back against people who seem obsessed with our neighbors so long as they continue to be obsessed by them or until they can make some coherent argument as to why it matters beyond telling me they are at X and we are at Y. Otherwise it’s just smoke.


  20. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    ==Well that’s one way to feel better about ourselves…==

    I’m sorry you feel so bad about yourself too. Cheer up. It’s Friday.


  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    By the way, I think the numbers stink. Do not think I’m trying to paint everything as being sunshine and roses. I’m particularly troubled by the data on wages declining. I guess my point is that telling me what other states numbers are at is interesting but isn’t particularly helpful to Illinois’ situation. I’d rather focus on what we are doing (or not doing) in Illinois rather than what somebody else is doing.


  22. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Demoralized,

    I understand that comparisons can be…demoralizing. It feels better to plug one’s ears and pretend everything is fine.

    Curious minds sometimes wonder why different places achieve different outcomes. If you’re not curious and your sandbox is the only one that interests you, fine. But don’t object to others being curious.

    Indiana and other neighbor states are the most similar to Illinois in terms of economic mix, and so the most comparable. Perhaps talking about Texas would be more appealing to you? ;)


  23. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    - Johnny Utah -,

    Neighboring states, not comparable…


  24. - Illiana - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    For those who want to bring up neighboring states, Iowa appears to be the best shape. That said it has a split legislature, higher taxes than Illinois, & one of the more moderate Republican governors in the country, so I can see why partisans don’t talk about Iowa.


  25. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==It feels better to plug one’s ears and pretend everything is fine.==

    Not doing that. Not at all. Just find those of you who love to do all of this prognostication to not have much more to offer than, for example, telling me that Indiana does X. Good for them. Just don’t find the comparisons to be worth much when all we are doing is quoting what their numbers are. So what? Tell me something besides that. That’s my point.

    And I’ll say it over and over and over and over and over . . . Illinois ain’t Indiana, or Wisconsin, or Texas, or anybody else. Not. Comparable.


  26. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Illiana,

    Iowa has the 2nd lowest combined state and local tax burden out of IL, IN, IA, MI, MN, WI, OH, PA, MO.

    Oswego, it stands to reason that no states are comparable in neighboring states are not. No need for further discussion if you think there is nothing to draw from Illinois’ extraordinarily lagging everyone surrounding.


  27. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    Demoralized,

    People pick up and leave Illinois to head for TX and neighboring states every year, and they do it because they find the states very comparable.

    They make their comparison, then they vote with their feet.

    Illinois used to out-perform the region. Now we under-perform. It was comparable when we were better, and it still is now that we’re worse.

    Bottom line, policies lead to outcomes which lead to comparisons.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===No need for further discussion if you think there is nothing to draw from Illinois’ extraordinarily lagging everyone surrounding.===

    What you should draw from the numbers is what us Illinois doing about Illinois.

    Arguably the worlds “Busiest Airport”, 3rd largest City in America, with arguably a top Agricultural state at the same time…

    Yeah, that sounds like === ..IN, IA, MI, MN, WI,…MO.===

    Nope.

    Illinois problems, need solutions for Illinois…


  29. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    ==Illinois problems, need solutions for Illinois…==

    But, but, but, Indiana does it this way. If we could only be more like Indiana all of our problems would go away . . .


  30. - Illiana - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Rich, why are my attempts to answer OneMan not posting?


  31. - walker - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    @OneMan: Thanks for your information and sources.

    We see a lot of second-hand opinions foisted off as fact, but you actually support your arguments. Not that I always agree, but you lay it out fairly.

    Data comparisons can be spun, but we can learn by watching specific behaviors.

    We can learn some things from Indiana in terms of how they attract and support larger businesses, and how their business community supports, and sells the state. The seem to handle business licensing, worker’s comp and tort issues pretty well.

    How they tax and regulate is not a worthwhile example for Illinois, for many reasons, and is a constant complaint among their own business community.

    Both of us treat small and growing businesses abysmally at the state level.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    ===How they tax and regulate is not a worthwhile example for Illinois, for many reasons, and is a constant complaint among their own business community.===

    On Point.


  33. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    @walker:

    I couldn’t agree with you more.


  34. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    Oswego Willy,

    Small businesses gave Indiana a B-. They gave Illinois an F. I think they might be complaining a little louder here than in the Hoosier state.

    http://www.thumbtack.com/survey#/2014/1/states

    Or maybe that’s just another Illinois problem that’s not comparable to anything anywhere because we have an airport.

    An airport and other specific “Illinois is the special child” factors that somehow accounts for wildly different start-up costs, tax burdens, workers comp costs, property taxes, regulatory burden, etc etc etc across states.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    How did Pennsylvania compare?


  36. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    ===start-up costs, tax burdens, workers comp costs, property taxes, regulatory burden, etc etc etc across states.===

    So, lower tax burdens, even though Indiana taxes are not comparable to Illinois, Tort Reform, lower property taxes, (that are done locally, not by the state), less regulation…

    Maybe Bruce Rauner can give us all a 10 point “blueprint” on this, that would be fun…


  37. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Well, any way you shake it, this is still excellent, encouraging News as the Downward Trend on the Unemployment Rate continues (although McHenry, St. Clair, and Peoria Counties admittedly took a bit of a hit).

    Yet, on the whole, including the large gains in employment in our most populous County by far, Cook, there is cause for some real Optimism in the Illinois Economy here–heck, if this positive trend continues, some in the Gov.’s Race might even start to crow some about “Quinnonomics” as having at least helped to spur on some of this Illinois Job Growth…!


  38. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    Maybe he could, though not likely given his Bud Lite budget blueprint.

    But why address real-world problems when we can talk about a billionaire candidate, right?


  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    ===But why address real-world problems when we can talk about a billionaire candidate, right?===

    Those are the choices; Quinn and Rauner.


  40. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    Right, and neither of them were a part of this conversation about Illinois’ job problems, airport arrangements, and totally-different-foreign-country-neighbors.


  41. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    Just the Way it is:

    -60,000 on the year isn’t job growth.


  42. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    ==hat somehow accounts for wildly different start-up costs, tax burdens, workers comp costs, property taxes, regulatory burden, etc etc etc across states.==

    Gasp. We aren’t other states. There’s a newsflash. Unless you have something other than your little anecdotes and useless stats about how much better everybody else is than us then I find your comments to be nothing more than the garden variety Illinois bashing that so many love to do these days. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. If it is for you then good. Life’s too short to be miserable.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 3:57 pm:

    ===Right, and neither of them were a part of this conversation about Illinois’ job problems, airport arrangements, and totally-different-foreign-country-neighbors.===

    But you want solutions, and it’s going to come down to Quinn or Rauner. You are saying its bad, compared to other states in the region, so you gave what IL is “lacking”, so now discussing the idea of Rauner or Quinn turning this around makes no sense?

    So, we have Quinn, the snapshot of today, in Illinois, so how is Bruce Rauner touting to make it better with a specific plan?

    Seems very germane.


  44. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    I see nothing wrong with the people of Illinois demanding solutions to problems from whoever is governor and legislature is. The issues we’re discussing here, and the issues that really matter, are the problems and the solutions, not the man behind the curtain.

    I do not know what Bruce Rauner proposes as a solution. Don’t know what Quinn plans to do about these things either. Neither has acknowledged or addressed specific causes of our problems. Least not that I’ve heard.

    I’d suggest that just because two middle-aged men from the Chicago area choose not to discuss a problem, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem. In fact if we stop discussing problems then politicians certainly never will address them.


  45. - Illiana - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    OneMan,

    Since my full answer won’t post, try comparing Page Two of Illinois to Page Two Indiana, especially when comparing changes in income.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===I’d suggest that just because two middle-aged men from the Chicago area choose not to discuss a problem, that doesn’t mean we should ignore the problem. In fact if we stop discussing problems then politicians certainly never will address them.===

    “I’d suggest that just because two middle-aged men from the Chicago area choose not to discuss a problem,…”?

    Whaa? These two men will dictate how Illinois Government will react in the future on these issues. It matters a great deal what both have to say. This isn’t sophomore year. We aren’t going to order bad burritos and complain about “the man”…

    You want to complain here or compare here, make the argument to a solution that is possible; Quinn or Rauner.

    ===I do not know what Bruce Rauner proposes as a solution. Don’t know what Quinn plans to do about these things either. Neither has acknowledged or addressed specific causes of our problems. Least not that I’ve heard.===

    So… You are clueless to those who are running, (actually it’s Rauner you could be clueless about, Quinn as governor works at this) and that doesn’t matter in your ranting and comparing?

    To sum up, you have no idea what Quinn or Rauner propose, you don’t care, but you want it addressed, and two middle aged men, one who is going to lead Illinois after 2015, and their policies… are not germane.

    Good luck with all that. Make mine a steak burrito, and make sure the Resident Assistant doesn’t eat it till I get there.


  47. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    Oswego,

    Please share with me the reform plan that addresses these problems and others proposed by Quinn or Rauner. I did not realize that either had advocated any plans to do anything systematic or substantial.

    Politicians take on problems if a lot of people want the problems taken on. They don’t take on problems when people quietly choose from two candidates that don’t say anything in particular about how they plan to make the state great.

    I’d advocate making noise about things that matter rather than quietly choosing from the middle-aged-man buffet.


  48. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    ==I see nothing wrong with the people of Illinois demanding solutions to problems==

    I wholeheartedly agree. Comparing Illinois to other states does nothing to get us to those solutions.


  49. - Johnny Utah - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:44 pm:

    But I’ll keep your steak burrito warm in the microwave in case you aren’t satisfied by the offerings at the middle-aged-white-man-from-Chicago buffet ;)


  50. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 20, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    I’m never going to a buffet again


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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