SPRINGFIELD– The unemployment rate is down in Illinois, but so is the number of available jobs.
The August jobless figure is down to 5.6%, but the number of non-farm payroll jobs dropped 900 from July. Ron Payne is with the Illinois Department of Employment Security, and says July turned out to be not as rosy as first announced.
“July data has been revised. It was originally a slight gain in employment,” says Payne. “It’s also been revised down to a loss. This is the third month in a row the state has actually lost jobhs. Minor losses, but nonetheless, losses.”
Construction, manufacturing, and financial activities jobs were the biggest decliners, largely offset by large gains in areas like educational and health services, and professional and business services.
In the first six months of the year, Payne says employment grew at a rate of 0.3%– half the rate of the rest of the Midwest. He says there’s not much that can be done to change that aside from helping more people find work.
“That, and expanding our efforts to try to attract more businesses to Illinois in a really touch economic environment,” says Payme. “Many other states, when somebody announces they’re going to build a new plant somewhere, the competition is very fierce.”