By Michael Lucci -
Illinois policies continue to smother the job prospects for people in the state. Yesterday, the Illinois Department of Employment Security, or IDES, reported that the state lost jobs for the second month in a row. Illinois lost 27,600 payroll jobs in January, compared to 129,000 jobs gained nationally.
The Illinois unemployment rate for January is 8.7 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than the national rate of 6.6 percent.
U.S. payrolls grew by 175,000 in February, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the national jobless rate rose to 6.7 percent in February from 6.6 percent in January. The number of long-term unemployed increased.
At the three-month rate of 130,000 new jobs per month, the U.S. isn’t recovering fast enough. At the current rate of job creation, the U.S. will not reach pre-recession employment levels until July 2023.
Meanwhile, Illinois has been trailing behind on the painfully slow national recovery. After two months of job losses, Illinois has its own jobs gap to contend with.
In comparison to the slow growth of the rest of the country, Illinois is still a laggard state. That’s because Illinois’ business environment continues to decay, according to Tax Foundation. Meanwhile, Chicago ranks near dead last amongst major cities for entrepreneurship.
Michael Lucci is Director of Jobs & Growth at the Illinois Policy Institute