The latest report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) shows the state ended July with an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in June. Illinois also gained about 1,900 nonfarm payroll jobs, but job growth continues to trail behind other states. IDES Director Jeff Mays said if Illinois employment growth had matched the rest of the nation this year, “Illinois would have added 40,000 more jobs by now.”
That trend was confirmed by a corresponding report from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). According to the DOL, Illinois’s rate of job growth in the past year was both slower than surrounding states and last among neighboring states in per-capita job growth. So, while the report shows that Illinois gained 50,000 jobs over the past year, our neighboring state Indiana gained 64,000 – almost 30% more – despite having only half the population.