Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Illinois jobless rate tops not just U.S. but Midwest neighbors

Crain's Chicago Business reports:
As the race for the GOP nomination for governor heads into its final month, here's something of consequence for the candidates to chew on: A new study shows Illinois' economy lags not only the nation but other Midwestern industrial states.

The study comes from Bill Testa, the chief regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who posted it on his blog.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Testa found that both Illinois and the Midwest lag the nation in recovering from the 2007-09 recession. The so-called Rust Belt traditionally enters and recovers from recessions later than the nation as a whole, in part due to this area's relatively high reliance on manufacturing.

Mr. Testa took unemployment rates 18 quarters after the trough of the last recession, though the fourth quarter of 2013, and compared them with the national recovery and to recoveries from past recessions in the post-Vietnam War era. The jobless rate in Midwest states as a whole is about 8 percent, more than a full point higher than the U.S. rate.

But the situation in Illinois is significantly worse. Our rate for the period is 8.8 percent, about 2 percentage points higher than the national level. And that 8.8 percent unemployment rate is higher than during comparable periods after recessions in 1975, 1982, 1991 and 2001.
Barack Obama's Illinois.