Posted by Barton Lorimor
* Press release…
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate decreased by -0.1 percentage point to 4.3 percent in May and nonfarm payrolls increased by +8,600 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The April job gain was revised down slightly from its initial report to show a smaller gain. (+2,500 jobs versus +4,700 jobs).
Job growth stabilized in the March to May period posting average monthly gains of +4,600 jobs over this three-month period, about the same as the 6-month average monthly gain of +4,500 jobs between December 2017 to May 2018.
In May, the three industry sectors with the largest gains in employment were Education and Health Services (+3,500); Government (+2,600); and Financial Activities (+2,100). The industry sectors with the largest payroll declines were: Information services (-900) and Leisure and Hospitality (-800).
Over-the-year, nonfarm payroll employment increased by +60,200 jobs with the largest gains in these industry sectors in May: Government (+13,800); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+11,100); and Financial Activities (+10,400). The industry sectors with the largest over-the-year declines were: Information Services (-3,900) and Mining (-300). Illinois nonfarm payrolls were up +1.0 percent over-the-year in sharp contrast to the nation’s +1.6 percent over-the-year gain in May, but it was the largest over-the-year gain in nearly a year.
…Adding…It is nice to see the numbers moving in the right direction, but…
Illinois’ African-American unemployment rate is higher than that of any other state in the nation.
And Illinois has been among the states with the highest black unemployment rate nearly every quarter since 2016.
“Nobody’s been left behind more than African-American workers. And Illinois has done about the worst when it comes to creating economic opportunities and employment opportunities for African Americans,” said Robert Bruno, a University of Illinois professor who directs the Labor Education program there.
Experts say an unequal education system bears a lot of the blame for why Illinois fares so poorly in comparison, but largely it is plain old-fashioned discrimination at work.
A bit of the issue’s history…
Bruno said that African Americans were beginning in the 1970s and early 1980s to get a share of manufacturing jobs until, he said, availability of those jobs dimished. “Everybody gets hurt when that plant moves out of town, but the people that are hurt the most would be people who had had the shortest tenure in those industries, and they couldn’t retire and they didn’t really build up a nest egg, and so that devastated African-American neighborhoods and communities.
“They have a hard time getting into these industries. When they get into the industries, they’re not paid as well and unemployment that occurs in these industries is always greater for African Americans.'’
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