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Illinois had highest unemployment rate of all 50 states last month

Monday, Oct 24, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Illinois had the second-highest unemployment rate in September, behind only Washington, DC. Minnesota (2.0%), Missouri (2.5%), Iowa (2.7%), Indiana (2.8%), Wisconsin (3.2%), Kentucky (3.8%), Ohio (4.0%) and Michigan (4.1%) were all lower than Illinois’ reported rate of 4.5%.

And according to WalletHub, Illinois’ unemployment rate is almost 20 percent higher than it was in September of 2019, months before the pandemic. Only three states, South Carolina, Colorado and Hawaii, fared worse by that measure.

* WCIS

On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced the unemployment rate hasn’t changed.

The unemployment rate is at 4.5% right now.

Nonagricultural jobs did increase by over 14,500 in September.

The industries with the most growth are educational and health services, government, and professional and business services.

“Today’s data is a clear indicator that the Illinois labor market continues to remain strong and stable,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar. “As continued claims levels remain at historical lows, IDES is committed to connecting job seekers and employers throughout the state with the tools and resources they need to take advantage of the current landscape.”
Illinois’ unemployment rate was up one percentage point higher than the national unemployment rate reported for September.

The Illinois unemployment rate was down one percentage point from a year ago when it was at 5.5%.

* Nationally, the job market is cooling off, Here & Now reports

We may be seeing the first signs of a cooling job market after a red hot summer. The Labor Department reports that US employers added 263,000 jobs in September, a smaller increase and in August the month before, and this might be good news for the Federal Reserve which has been trying to slow down the rate of inflation. And Bureau Chief Economics Correspondent Scott Horsley joins us now. […]

Horsley: Well, it shows that September was another solid month for job gains, but not quite as strong as the month before. The economy added about 16% fewer jobs last month than it did in August. by historical standards. This is still a pretty hot job market but it’s not quite as hot as it was during the summertime. And as you mentioned, that’s kind of what the Federal Reserve has been hoping for,

Q: Which is kind of counterintuitive, right? I mean, a cooling job market is a positive signal for the Federal Reserve. Can you explain that?

Horsley: Well, it is in this case, and that’s because the Fed has been concerned that the job markets been out of balance. There is too much demand for workers for the workers who are available to fill those jobs. And as result, employers have been bidding up wages at an unusually fast pace. Now of course, rising wages is a good thing for workers but it can also add fuel to the inflationary fires. So the Fed has been hoping to see more of a balance between help wanted signs and job applicants. We did get an encouraging sign earlier in the week when the report came out from the Labor Department showing job openings in August fell by about 10% from about 11 million jobs at the start of the month to 10 million just before Labor Day, even as hiring held pretty steady.

* More…

    * Illinois gets $7 million for unemployment system upgrades as debt persists : Four major equity projects will be funded through the grant, according to a news release by the Illinois Department of Employment Security. These projects include upgrading the UI service delivery systems, processes and communications for easier access and experience. This involves making the UI information easier to understand, translating the information into various languages, growing the self-service digital options and increasing the outreach to organizations within the community.

    * Illinois manufacturers have a job waiting for you: There are nearly 800,000 manufacturing jobs open in the U.S. These are some of the best-paying, most technologically advanced and exciting careers out there. That’s especially true in Illinois, which might be called the epicenter of manufacturing in the United States. A recent study found the total economic impact of manufacturing in Illinois is estimated to be between $580 billion and $611 billion annually — the largest share of state’s gross domestic product of any industry. Manufacturing directly employs 662,298 workers but ultimately supports as many as 1,771,928 jobs, generating up to $150 billion in labor income for Illinois residents annually.

    * Illinois’ clean energy jobs grew by 5% in 2021: Here’s where the work is: Jobs in clean energy — such as installing solar panel arrays, recycling lithium-ion battery modules and planning electric vehicle charging infrastructure — grew by more than 5,000 in Illinois last year, according to a recent report.

       

50 Comments
  1. - JS Mill - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 2:54 pm:

    Hard to believe considering all of the jobs we have open in education. Our little district has 5 open positions. Some don’t pay a ton but all come with fully paid insurance.


  2. - Huh? - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 2:57 pm:

    JSMill - have there been any changes in the laws to allow retired professionals obtain credentials to teach? Even as a substitute teacher?


  3. - PublicServant - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:06 pm:

    Maybe the Fed, hoping for a soft landing, will begin to ease off a bit…just saying.


  4. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:09 pm:

    A cold dose of reality for the Pritzker administration

    Highest unemployment rate of all states and only 3 states have had a worse recovery of jobs and yet our Governor when confronted with this reality reduces his critics to carnival barkers


  5. - Commissar Gritty - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    I know this is one of those capfax entries where it’s just “here are the headlines, no editorializing” (and those are often important in conveying how media is covering the topic), so I’m going to use my comment to remind folks that we are the highest in the nation, when we have hit a 50 year high in record employment.

    Put more simply, the national unemployment numbers are so low that even what would have been a stellar % for the last half century now looks bad; but only by comparison.


  6. - Just Curious - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:12 pm:

    Is there any data backed, proven reason as to why Illinois’ unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation? IPI claims its due to Democratic policies.


  7. - Commissar Gritty - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    @Just Curious
    IPI is allergic to data. Or when they site it, they’ll take old data and pretend it is still relevant while ignoring much more recent data that refutes their arguments.

    They do not negotiate in good faith


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:16 pm:

    Unemployment high? Ok.

    How can it be high and still there’s a workers’ shortage that businesses complain about too?

    Isn’t “full statistical employment ” is at roughly 6% unemployment?

    I think I read that somewhere


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:20 pm:

    Maybe here, I dunno…

    === For example, in 1999, in the United States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gives an estimate of the “full-employment unemployment rate” of 4 to 6.4%. This is the estimated unemployment rate at full employment, plus or minus the standard error of the estimate.===

    Maybe that’s why businesses are struggling too, finding employees… let alone the usual reasons… lousy pay, lousy management, no time off, insurance benefits…


  10. - Chito - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:23 pm:

    So unemployment is right where Rauner left it in January of 2019. It was as high as 17.20% in April of ‘20, during the pandemic, so I’d say this is pretty good, Lucky Pierre.


  11. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:24 pm:

    IF MN has a 2.0% unemployment rate, historically inflation should be much higher.


  12. - Sue - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:28 pm:

    The comments here remind me of the line in a few good men- “you can’t handle the truth”. This has nothing to do with IPI- the info is from the US Dept of Labor. Illinois is doing worse with unemployment than 49 other states. In fairness- as I read the report. DC was actually worse then Illinois


  13. - Phillips Curve - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:33 pm:

    Many economists believe that an unemployment rate between 3% and 5% is optimal. Lower unemployment fuels inflation.

    Of course, the GOP stance on Pritkzer is this: Heads, you’re wrong. And tails, you’re still wrong.


  14. - ChicagoBars - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    Wonder how much of the unemployment rate is due to lack of access to childcare/affordable childcare.

    There’s still no lack of job openings in Chicago.


  15. - DuPage - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    I think part of the statistical uptick might be related to a mass layoff of the Belvidere car plant. It used to be Chrysler, but it has changed hands and I don’t know what company owns it now.


  16. - Chito - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:37 pm:

    Sue, rather than saying “Illinois is doing worse…” try “Illinois isn’t doing as well as…” Again, unless you’re one of those that have tried and simply cannot find employment, 4.5% isn’t bad.


  17. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:44 pm:

    Every state is doing better than Illinois but we are not bad?

    We certainly don’t need to enact any economic development legislation to promote private sector job growth, we are doing just fine here and we like it this way


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:45 pm:

    === There’s still no lack of job openings in Chicago.===

    There it is…


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:53 pm:

    === We certainly don’t need to enact any economic development ===

    Right to Work won’t help here, as it’s rejected, ask Rauner, but he’s in Florida, so pack a lunch


  20. - JS Mill - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 3:55 pm:

    =JSMill - have there been any changes in the laws to allow retired professionals obtain credentials to teach? Even as a substitute teacher?=

    Anyone with a bachelor’s degree can get a substitute license. It has been that way since I can remember.

    What we need are high quality licensed teachers. If they do not have the training their chances of success are pretty slim, and that is bad for kids.

    If there are so many companies looking for employees then I question the data. We are looking at underemployment more so than unemployment. The misery spelunkers can gripe as much as they want, but unemployment is not a problem in Illinois.


  21. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    The Fed, pursuing its mission, is explicitly saying they want the unemployment rate to go up in all these states to fight inflation, so I’m not really sure what message somebody is supposed to take away from these numbers. They don’t seem to track so neatly to good/bad


  22. - Hannibal Lecter - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    === If there are so many companies looking for employees then I question the data. ===

    I think that there can be a significant need for teachers and also high unemployment. To put it bluntly, not as many people want to become teachers anymore. This is for a variety of reasons. The educational profession should examine some of those reasons and figure out what can be done to address them. If the issues are not addressed, teacher shortages will continue no matter how many able bodies are looking for work in the workforce.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===teachers===

    Micro v Macro


  24. - Honeybear - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:06 pm:

    I know in Madison county they’re out of money for job training.
    Maybe the legislature needs to resupply the counties with funding.
    Retraining employable Illinoisans should be well funded if we’re going to be able to weather the coming economic storms. Many employers are involved in the training but the county can’t hold up its end of the bargain. Funded training is one way to help employers and future employees all at once.


  25. - historic66 - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:07 pm:

    I’ll wait to see what Bailey would do that could decrease the unemployment rate. Any concrete plans?


  26. - Back to the Future - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:09 pm:

    Worst State in the United States of America.
    Another failure feather in Pritzker’s hat.
    These numbers are very frustrating. We live in a great state and have no idea why we are so far behind other states.
    Of course, making excuses for Team Pritzker or accepting the Pritzker spin machine comments are not helpful.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:14 pm:

    === Worst State in the United States of America.
    Another failure feather in Pritzker’s hat.===

    (Sigh)

    === Illinois’ reported rate of 4.5%.===

    And…

    === For example, in 1999, in the United States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gives an estimate of the “full-employment unemployment rate” of 4 to 6.4%. This is the estimated unemployment rate at full employment, plus or minus the standard error of the estimate.===

    Is it also Pritzker’s fault for businesses saying they can’t find people to *fill* jobs?


  28. - Honeybear - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:14 pm:

    I’d also like to invite job seekers to look into working for the State of Illinois. Over 7 thousand jobs to choose from. Good paying union jobs.


  29. - Aaron B - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:34 pm:

    Is there a statistic that is tracked that shows the number of open positions? I’d be surprised if that number wasn’t also very high.


  30. - very old soil - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:37 pm:

    I have also been wondering why Illinois has the highest UI rate. It looks like we are in the top 20 or so in labor force participation.

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/release/tables?rid=446&eid=784070

    I think we should start a PR campaign to get people in Illinois who are part of the survey who are unemployed to say they are not looking for work. (Problem solved s/)


  31. - SaveDemocracy - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:50 pm:

    I agree. This is a problem for the other 49 states. Their unemployment rates are too low. Illinois is exactly where it should be; and just because we are in 50th place doesn’t mean anything.


  32. - The Velvet Frog - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:55 pm:

    It’s like an underweight person who thinks they’re fat because everyone else around them is anorexic.


  33. - ArchPundit - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:04 pm:

    ===If they do not have the training their chances of success are pretty slim, and that is bad for kids.

    This is the issue overall–miss match of skills and openings. I haven’t seen a good explainer why Illinois is hit so hard with that miss match.


  34. - filmmaker prof - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:09 pm:

    Highest unemployment in the country doesn’t mean unemployment is high.
    Trump got the most votes of any incumbent president in history. That doesn’t mean he won the election.


  35. - very old soil - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:13 pm:

    the more I think about it one m=number does not give the whole picture. Illinois has 4.5 % unemployment with 64.2% labor force participation. Mississippi has 3.5% unemployment with 55% 0f the working age population in the labor force. MS is the lowest in labor participation but still an illustrative example. I’ rather be in Illinois


  36. - very old soil - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:14 pm:

    forgive my typos. I never learned to type and now arthritis


  37. - clec dcn - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:23 pm:

    This really surprised me as someone retire but still work sub teaching, I have all sorts of job opportunities if I want to take them up. I could have my pick of a number really. There seems to be a drastic labor shortage all around.


  38. - very old soil - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:23 pm:

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2018/article/the-current-population-survey-tracking-unemployment.htm

    For the curious


  39. - very old soil - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:26 pm:

    One of the biggest and most persistent misconceptions about the official U.S. unemployment rate has been that it is based on the number of people who receive unemployment insurance benefits. \

    OK, I will shut uo now


  40. - ZC - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 5:54 pm:

    At least someone pointed out the labor force participation rate. Look, this may well have something to do with the economy, too, but looking at unemployment rate alone, is just dumb, unless you’re IPI and looking to score points above all.

    An unemployment rate is determined by people -actively looking for work-. Part (not all) of an unemployment rate means, there are younger people still in your state, shuffling between jobs, looking for news ones, the regular churn.

    Again this is not the whole story but it’s one reason not to get overly amped with this. The easiest way to achieve 0% unemployment is turn your state into a literal retirement home where everyone is over 65 and cashing their retirement checks. But that would not be a healthy economy either.


  41. - DuPage - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 6:19 pm:

    @- Hannibal Lecter - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===To put it bluntly, not as many people want to become teachers anymore. This is for a variety of reasons. ===

    Tier2 is one reason, “SB7″ is another.


  42. - Tombrady - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 8:01 pm:

    ===“Today’s data is a clear indicator that the Illinois labor market continues to remain strong and stable,” said Deputy Governor Andy Manar.===

    Talk about a half glass full guy, not sure how Manar sells this though.


  43. - JS Mill - Monday, Oct 24, 22 @ 10:32 pm:

    Yeah, it never really occurred to us to examine the teacher shortage issues. /s

    We have been calling this problem out for a decade. @Duoage called out some of the reasons. People like Bailey and his cult members are another. Check out YouTube, the behavior at school board meetings and by parents has been abysmal the last three years. And, taxes are “too high” so nobody gets paid what they are worth. Some people talk a good game but actually taking care of educators is another issue.

    Society needs to take a look at the issue. Education did that and told society how to fix it.


  44. - Dave C - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 8:56 am:

    ==I’d say this is pretty good, Lucky Pierre.==

    What part of “50th out of 50″ do you not understand?


  45. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 9:01 am:

    ===What part of…===

    “For example, in 1999, in the United States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) gives an estimate of the “full-employment unemployment rate” of 4 to 6.4%. This is the estimated unemployment rate at full employment, plus or minus the standard error of the estimate.”

    Take your time, don’t hurt yourself.


  46. - Dave C - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 9:09 am:

    ==Take your time, don’t hurt yourself.==

    I wasn’t talking to you. Take your uncivil comments somewhere else.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 9:11 am:

    ===I wasn’t…===

    … going to respond to your information because it ruins what I want as spin?

    Try again. You’ll get there.


  48. - Dave C - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    ==it ruins what I want as spin==

    Spin? LOL. I’ll break it down in simpler terms….
    The article states 50th out of 50.
    LP states SAME thing.
    Chito is cool with being last.
    I’m not spinning anything or bashing anybody, just questioning why anybody would be ok with being last. I’m not one to make excuses, and I’m sure not apologizing for having high standards. Maybe that’s just me….. Enjoy your day.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    ===I’ll break it down in simpler terms===

    I did that for you.

    Statistically, we are at full employment.

    You don’t like that.

    It’s ok.


  50. - snowman61 - Tuesday, Oct 25, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    Just read this. I have 2 points, 1) there are a lot of help wanted signs but it also seems to be in the low wage merchandising and food service business. Why? Weren’t most of these jobs filled by High school kids? Could a reason be that parents don’t want their kids to work?
    2) Regarding the upgrades, that is great but I hope that it doesn’t take as long to update the system as it is taking the DNR to update their grant application system that was shut down in Spring with it to be done by 7/31/2022. Still not done so nobody Except OSLID grants applications can be applied for by the public or government for projects. Anybody know he status and why it is taking so long?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Despite reported shortage, state claims city has not requested diapers for migrant babies since October
* IVF debate takes a weird political turn
* ComEd Four sentencing will be delayed
* It’s just a bill
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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