* Gov. Pat Quinn announced some positive economic news yesterday during the State Fair’s Republican Day…
The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. It was the fifth straight monthly decrease in the state’s jobless rate.
The new employment numbers included, finally, a gain in manufacturing — though total jobs there remain lower than a year ago.
It prompted Governor Pat Quinn to try to rewrite what has been the established narrative about the State’s troubled economy as he seeks another 4-year lease in the Executive Mansion.
“Unemployment’s fallen from 9.2% last year to 6.8%. It’s the steepest decline since the 1980s. Last month employers created 11,200 jobs,” Quinn said.
* Greg Hinz…
And even better, the decline now is being propelled not by people leaving the job force but by the creation of new jobs, with 11,200 positions added just in July. […]
The preliminary seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped from 7.1 percent in June to 6.8 percent in July, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The state rate is still somewhat above the national figure of 6.2 percent, but the 0.6 difference is just a fraction of what it was a year ago.
Since July 2013, the Illinois rate has dropped an enormous 2.4 percentage points, from 9.2 percent to 6.7 percent, according to the federal data released by the state. That’s the biggest year-over-year decline since 1984, putting the unemployment rate just above the 6.8 percent level of August 2008. […]
According to the figures, derived from a different survey than the unemployment data, the state added 11,200 private sector jobs in the past month, and 35,600 over the past 12 months.
The July gains were widespread across various sectors, with professional and business services up 5,900, manufacturers adding 3,900 positions and construction 1,900 slots. Leisure and hospitality dropped 3,800 in the month.
According to the governor’s office, this is the lowest unemployment rate in six years. And you’d have to go back to 1984 to see such a sharp drop in the rate.
* The Rauner campaign response…
“Celebrating today’s job numbers is like cheering a touchdown when you’re down 35 points with two minutes left,” said Mike Schrimpf, a campaign spokesman.
“Our state is still down thousands of jobs since the beginning of the year, we still have one of the worst unemployment rates in the entire country and thousands of Illinoisans have given up looking for work. On top of higher taxes, this means too many families continue to suffer under Pat Quinn. Thankfully, Pat Quinn’s time is almost up and his term in office can’t end soon enough for the working people of Illinois.”
* VIDEO: Quinn announces state unemployment rate drops
* Illinois’ tax burden? Not so bad, according to new report