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Unemployment rate down, but so are jobs

Friday, May 19, 2017

* Press release…

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced [yesterday] that the unemployment rate declined -0.2 percentage points to 4.7 percent in April and nonfarm payrolls decreased by -7,200 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. March job growth was revised up to show a decrease of -7,700 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of -8,900 jobs. April’s monthly payroll drop kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. Due to payroll declines for both March and April, Illinois remains -25,600 jobs short of reaching its prior peak employment reached in September 2000.

“Illinois did not participate in the nation’s job growth in April,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Furthermore, the decline in the unemployment rate was largely due to a drop in the labor force, not more people working.”

“We continue to see sluggish growth in our economy due to the inability of the legislature to institute common-sense structural changes that would encourage investment in our state,” said Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Director Sean McCarthy. “If we create a business-friendly environment, we will see greater opportunities and more good paying jobs in every community.”

In April, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were: Education and Health Services (+2,600); Manufacturing (+1,900); and Information Services (+1,300). The largest payroll declines were in the following sectors: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-7,100); Construction (-4,500); and Leisure and Hospitality (-2,400).

Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +22,100 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in April: Education and Health Services (+16,200); Professional and Business Services (+11,600); Financial Activities (+8,700). Industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines include: Construction (-6,600); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-6,500); and Manufacturing (-3,600). The +0.4 percent over-the-year gain in Illinois is about one-fourth as strong as the +1.6 percent gain posted by the nation in April.

The state’s unemployment rate is +0.3 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for April 2017, which decreased to 4.4 percent. The Illinois unemployment rate is down -1.3 percentage points from a year ago when it was 6.0 percent. At 4.7 percent, the Illinois jobless rate stands at its lowest level since March 2007, after having decreased for three consecutive months.

The number of unemployed workers decreased -4.7 percent from the prior month to 307,000, down -21.9 percent over the same month for the prior year. This brings the number of unemployed workers to its lowest level since February 2007.The labor force decreased -0.3 percent over-the-month and declined by -0.7 percent in April over the prior year. The unemployment rate identifies those individuals who are out of work and are seeking employment. An individual who exhausts or is ineligible for benefits is still reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

…Adding… Press release…

Illinois continues to lose nearly ten manufacturing employees every day according to the latest dismal jobs report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). This report comes on the heels of Butterball’s announcement of their plant closing in Montgomery, Illinois. Greg Baise, CEO and president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, has released the following statement underscoring the importance of enacting a balanced budget with strong economic reforms, especially focused on workers’ compensation policy:

“This jobs report coupled with another business closing its doors in Illinois reinforces the need for action. Since 2009, Illinois has lost more than 1,600 manufacturing jobs while our neighbors have added tens of thousands of new jobs. With 11 days left of session, we hope this announcement injects a heightened sense of urgency to enact a balanced budget imposing fiscal restraint and strong economic reforms, centered on real workers’ compensation changes. Another 600 families are out of work on top of the 10 manufacturing jobs we are losing on a daily basis according to today’s IDES report.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

9 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    “If we create a business-friendly environment, we will see greater opportunities and more good paying jobs in every community.”

    Indiana and Wisconsin, job creation paradises to some, lost jobs in the most recent month published, March 2017:

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/wisconsin/

    I don’t have a problem with pro-business reforms, and if they’re needed, I support them. But there should be limits as to how they would adversely affect workers.

    I saw on TV last night the mention of stability that’s needed by passing a budget, and I believe certainty on the state income tax. These too are important factors–predictability for businesses and a state that pays its bills.


  2. - Ron - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    Grandson, the difference between IN and WI is that they have been at peak employment for years, IL has yet to fully recover from 2000. Both have yoy job growth over 1%, IL is like 0.4%.


  3. - Arock - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:30 am:

    Illinois had a budget and higher income tax for three years and still lagged behind the rest of the US in the recovery so that evidently is not the major problem. Not having a budget is a major problem but not the main one that has been hindering job growth in Illinois for a long time.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    California seems to be doing pretty good, with adding jobs. Minnesota’s been as good or better than Indiana and Wisconsin. Oregon seems to be doing pretty well, also.

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/oregon/

    These states’ governments are not following the Midwest, union-busting playbook of Wisconsin, Indiana and other states. Yet they’re doing as well or better than the states Bruce wants us to emulate (and is causing a tremendous share of harm in doing so).

    This shows that Illinois doesn’t have to politically follow Indiana, Wisconsin, or the Rauner model–at least the one he showed Illinois for so many months.

    Minnesota invested in the Mayo Clinic. Here is a great story and great quote about that.

    http://www.startribune.com/rochester-mayo-clinic-celebrate-585-million-windfall-from-the-state/208594531/

    “people working together and a community working together with the state government can actually accomplish something. I think that was a hallmark of what this last legislative session was about”

    Sigh.

    Yesterday we learned that the pro-business Civic Committee wants us to pass a budget. That’s considered to be a big necessity for the state economy.


  5. - California Guy - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 11:52 am:

    @ Grandson of Man

    The West coast is very different than Illinois. People flock here (nationally and internationally) for the weather and lifestyle. Tons of trust fund kids living on the coast and spending money. There’s a higher threshold/tolerance for taxes and cost of living due to the environment. I doubt Illinois can maintain the same regulatory/tax environment as California and NOT lose people. Illinois residents can just leave and pay less in places without the harsh weather.


  6. - Anonymous - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    CA guy is absolutely correct. Comparing IL and CA is lunacy. People want to live in CA, other than Chicago, very few people want to live in IL.


  7. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    “Illinois residents can just leave and pay less in places without the harsh weather.”

    There’s been population growth in Minnesota. It has a strong economy and a budget surplus. Its high state income tax on top earners appears to be very good for the state, and to not harm the economy.

    Other states with colder weather are also doing well, without resorting to policies and ideologies of Midwest and southern red states. New York has been doing relatively well over the last year or so, and it recently passed a law giving union members a tax break for their dues.

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/employment/new-york/

    Massachusetts is another state doing well, with a low unemployment rate.

    http://www.deptofnumbers.com/unemployment/massachusetts/

    Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa and other regional states enacted harsh anti-union laws of various types, because of people like Bruce Rauner. It’s clear that Illinois doesn’t have to follow these models for economic and fiscal health.

    I hope we somehow pass a budget, as I believe this is vital to the overall health of Illinois.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:32 pm:

    I would like to add this too:

    Woody Allen said part of success is showing up. Democrats are not showing up, with a policy agenda and plans to move the state forward. Rauner is showing up with messaging and policy ideas, hazy as they are.

    Democrats owe it to Illinoisans to have a policy agenda and messaging. Present alternatives. Keep the messages simple: Rauner’s plans are X and ours are Y.

    That’s what I believe, and it’s very frustrating.


  9. - City Zen - Friday, May 19, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    ==There’s been population growth in Minnesota. It has a strong economy and a budget surplus.==

    But it’s not a very diverse population.

    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/17,27


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