The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported Aug. 24 that Illinois businesses added jobs in nine metro areas, but lost jobs in four other metro areas during the month of July. IDES reports the top job growth areas were Mining and Construction, Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality. Statewide, the unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent, which is one percent lower than July 2016’s 5.9 percent. The Department noted the drop in unemployment is “mostly due to the decline in the labor force.”
A week earlier, IDES reported June job growth was revised down to show an increase of +6,400 jobs compared to the preliminary estimate of +8,600 jobs.
While any job creation is positive, IDES Director Jeff Mays said, “The strong employment growth exhibited in the U.S. is not being felt in Illinois.” Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy added, “We need reforms to provide business owners relief and incentives to make our state not only competitive, but attractive to bring good jobs back to Illinois.”
Job weakness in a struggling economy is why the Senate Republican Caucus has long-supported reform legislation to revitalize the state’s business climate, such as workers’ compensation changes that lower hiring costs, and reducing government and business regulations that divert financial resources away from business expansion. It’s not a coincidence that Illinois’ overall poor fiscal health has tracked side-by-side with its struggling economy. Growing the economy and providing opportunity and prosperity for working families is the best and long-term way back to fiscal good health.
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