April 6, 2014. Round Lake Beach. While the rest of the nation sees at least some miniscule relief and economic growth after the world’s economic collapse in 2008, the policies of Illinois, Cook County and Chicago have left Illinois residents behind and unemployed. The latest example of that fact is the US Labor Dept’s ranking of states by unemployment rate. Illinois finished 50th.
IL Sen President Cullerton, IL House Speaker Madigan, IL Gov Quinn. Image courtesy of True News USA blog.
Between the highest murder rate in the nation, the second highest taxes in the country, the second worst traffic in the nation, the highest level of criminal corruption among government officials in the country, and the weather, it should be no surprise that businesses and employers are fleeing Illinois, Cook County and Chicago. Just as bad, recently released unemployment statistics show that state leaders have also failed in attracting new businesses to Illinois.
View the latest unemployment rate listing by state, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Local unemployment rates are jaw-dropping
Illustrating just how poorly Illinois has been managed over the past few years, the various current unemployment rates give some indication. The unemployment rate for the entire country sits at 6.7%. The city of Chicago’s unemployment rate currently registers at 8.6%, while the state’s rate is 8.7%.
With a statewide 8.7% unemployment rate here in Illinois, it’s bad enough to claim the title of 50th in the nation out of 51 states and DC. But some Illinois cities are in much more dire shape. Consider the below list of the towns and cities with the highest unemployment rate in the state (from Reboot Illinois):
1. Round Lake Beach – 16.9%
2. North Chicago – 15.7%
3. East St. Louis – 15.3%
4. Chicago Heights – 15.1%
4. Kankakee – 15.1%
4. Waukegan – 15.1%
7. Belvidere – 15.0%
8. Harvey – 14.1%
9. Decatur – 13.7%
10. Carpentersville – 13.3%
10. Rockford – 13.3%
How the unemployment rate is calculated
It’s worth noting that the government’s official unemployment rate admittedly doesn’t measure the unemployment rate. It only measures the number of Americans currently collecting unemployment benefits. Those denied benefits or those whose 26 weeks have expired, aren’t counted in the rate and are universally accused of having, “dropped out of the workforce and quit looking for work.” Of course, that recurring statement by media outlets and government officials is actually the opposite of the truth. Those individuals, this author being one of them not long ago, didn’t stop looking for work. The government simply stopped counting them.
A disclaimer from the Chicago Tribune last month confirms that fact, ‘The unemployment rate only includes those who are out of work and actively looking for jobs. When a person gives up their search, they are no longer counted.’ To give an indication of just how bizarre the government’s unemployment rate formula is, it’s actually possible to have a 0% unemployment rate while 100% of Americans are unemployed.
But the unemployment rate is good for comparing one entity to another, apples to apples so to speak. And that comparison shows that Illinois is still bleeding jobs at the second fastest rate in the nation while the rest of the country is slowly recovering. And while Chicago has announced a $750 million property tax increase for businesses and homeowners and Illinois is going to make the ‘temporary’ state income tax increase ‘permanent’, New York is offering businesses 10 tax free years if they relocate there.
To see the most recent unemployment rates listed by state, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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