Illinois’ new normal: chronic unemployment

Illinois Policy Institute –

Despite Illinois’ improved May unemployment numbers, the state continues to lag the nation in job creation. Illinois has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation – a position it has held since March.

Illinois’ jobless rate dropped to 9.1 percent from 9.3 percent in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Net payroll job growth was 5,600 for May, also an improvement.

But when compared to the rest of the nation, Illinois’ employment situation is bleak. Only two other states have an unemployment rate above 9 percent – Nevada and Mississippi.

Illinois is also one of only four states to see its unemployment rate worsen in the past 12 months.

Illinois’ unemployment rate now stands 1.5 percentage points higher than the 7.6 percent national average, and that trend has worsened over time.

The last time Illinois’ unemployment rate was on par with the national average was in late 2010. But since then, the state’s unemployment rate has remained higher.

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