Illinois’ workforce hits new low in August, and it’s not because of retirements

Illinois Policy Institute –

Illinois continues to bleed workers, with another 19,000 Illinoisans dropping out of the workforce in the month of August alone, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, or IDES.

As a result, Illinois’ labor force participation rate hit a new 35-year low in August.

The state’s jobless rate fell from 6.8 percent to 6.7 percent, once again driven entirely by workforce dropouts. In fact, the number of people working in Illinois actually decreased month-over-month by 7,000. Of the workforce dropouts, 7,000 were previously employed while 12,000 were previously unemployed.

This news comes after four consecutive months of workforce hemorrhaging in Illinois. Since April, 82,000 Illinoisans have dropped out of the workforce. In the same time frame, the state’s jobless rate has dropped from 8.4 percent to 6.7 percent. That drop is clearly not an indicator of economic health, but rather a symptom of an anemic economic recovery.

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