Illinois Still Caught In Unemployment Crisis
Illinois has the country’s second highest unemployment rate first being Nevada. At 9.3 percent, it is two percent higher than the national average of 7.5 percent. The US is on its way to economic recovery but some states are still lagging in terms of fixing its unemployment rate.
The number of Illinois workers who have been unemployed for more than six months continue to push records higher, according to a recent study from the Centre for labour Market Studies at Northeastern University.
Apart from Illinois only Nevada has a worser unemployment rate because of its extensive dependence on only one industry, that is gaming, but Illinois has a diverse economy.
The state of Illinois released the unemployment numbers and they show jobless rates fell in nine out of twelve metros as compared to last year. According to Illinois Department of employment services, the largest decline was evident in the Rockford, Kankakee and Chicago areas, which had been plagued by high unemployment rates.
The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking unemployment benefits. A person who exhausts benefits or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they are actively trying to find work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate.
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The state lost a net 17,800 jobs in March, and the losses were widespread, occurring at a range of different types of employers. The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 9,000 jobs, professional and business services firms shed 5,800 jobs, leisure and hospitality businesses cut a net 4,900 jobs, and positions at construction companies were down 1,300 for the month.The bright spot was educational and health services firms, which added a net 2,900 jobs.
The high share of long-term unemployed in Illinois makes it increasingly difficult to reduce the unemployment rate, said Tom Gimbel, CEO of Chicago-based employment agency LaSalle Network.
“The longer you are unemployed, the more difficult the task of finding a job will be in your specific field,” Mr. Gimbel said. “If you are willing to take a lower-paying job or a different type of job, it has less of an impact.”
The taxes also play a major role in the state’s employment rate. Illinois has the fourth highest corporate income tax in the industrial world which discourages companies from setting up. Positive measures by the state are required to facilitate industries and generate employment opportunities for Illinoisans.