Illinois’ unemployment rate drops, but growth continues to lag

Underscoring the need for economy-boosting structural reforms, Illinois gained 56,600 jobs over the past year, but the state’s jobs growth rate continues to lag the nation, according to the latest unemployment rates from released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Since June 2016, all of Illinois’ metropolitan areas and every county except two have seen their unemployment rates drop. Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped from 6% to 5% over the past year. Despite the good news, Illinois’ jobs gains were only half the national growth rate, and the labor force continues to shrink in most metro areas across the state, according to IDES.

Senate Republicans continue to push for structural reforms at the Statehouse that can boost the state’s economy and create jobs, such as workers’ compensation reform and property tax relief, but Democrat leaders have been unwilling to offer real compromise on the issues, thereby blocking meaningful reforms from Gov. Rauner’s desk. Illinois has some of the highest property taxes and workers’ compensation rates in the country.

To see a breakdown of unemployment rates across the state and where Illinois businesses added/lost jobs, click here.

Chapin Rose

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