New Numbers Show Illinois Economy Falling Behind Neighbors

Published 08/18 2014 06:55PM

Updated 08/18 2014 07:06PM

Despite a report last week from the state showing more jobs created in Illinois and a lower unemployment rate, new data released Monday by the U S Bureau of Labor Statistics, paints a different picture. According to the non partisan research and education organization, Illinois Policy Institute, the state last week released preliminary but incomplete data on the state's unemployment rate. The institute says the state's economy is still struggling. The institute says, based on complete data released by the feds, in July alone, the state's workforce shrank by 17 thousand people, which it says accounts for the entire drop in the monthly unemployment rate. The institute says when people drop out of the work force, the state unemployment rate goes down because they are no longer counted as unemployed. The institute also says Illinois has 170,000 fewer jobs than before the recession in 2008 and Illinois lost 5900 private sector jobs in the first seven months of this year. The institute says by simply looking at the unemployment rate of 6.8 percent, people are not seeing the full picture. The only reason, the institute says, the unemployment level has dropped is because people are also dropping out of the labor force. Governor Quinn's challenger, Republican Bruce Rauner issued a statement Monday saying under Governor Quinn the state is leading the Midwest in job losses. Rauner says in comparison, Indiana has gained more than 26,000 jobs while Wisconsin has gained nearly 11 thousand jobs.

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