Unemployment rate in Illinois falls to 8.8 percent in Sept.
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Business Reporter email@example.com October 18, 2012 12:14PM
GRAPHIC: Illinois unemployment rate
Updated: November 20, 2012 10:55AM
In positive news on the jobs front, the unemployment rate in Illinois fell to 8.8 percent in September from August, halting three straight month-over-month increases, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.
The state added 13,800 jobs since August, an improvement from the 9,600 jobs added between July and August.
The unemployment rate fell from 10.1 percent in September 2011.
“Today’s news is encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said in a statement. “What we don’t know is how federal decisions regarding the fiscal cliff will impact Illinois’ economy.”
He was referring to deep automatic spending cuts and the end of tax cuts from the President Bush-era that are slated to occur in January if a Congressional budget deal isn’t reached.
The biggest job gains since August were in professional and business services, up 7,800; government, up 6,900; and leisure and hospitality, up 3,400.
Year-over-year, the biggest gains were in professional and business services, up 31,400, manufacturing, up 21,000; and leisure and hospitality, up 16,900.
The state gained 52,500 jobs since September 2011.
The biggest job losses since August were in trade, transportation and utilities, down 2,700; manufacturing, down 2,600; and information, down 2,100.
Since September 2011, the biggest job losses were in construction, down 8,400; other services, down 8,000; and trade, transportation and government, down 5,600.
The number of jobs created or lost comes from a monthly U.S. government survey of businesses and reflects how many people they have working the week of the 12th of the month.
The unemployment rate stems from a national survey of individuals, who are asked if they looked for work in the past four weeks.
The data includes full-time and part-time workers.
The 0.3 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in Illinois from August matched the pace of decline nationally, although as is typically the case, the state’s rate was above the nation’s rate of 7.8 percent last month.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The big decline prompted some supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, including former General Electric Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch, to accuse President Barack Obama’s administration of manipulating the data to benefit Obama’s re-election campaign. The assertions were quickly shot down by economists, career government officials and other experts, including a former President George W. Bush Labor Department appointee, who noted the data is compiled by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employees under tight security with no White House input or supervision. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis doesn’t see the report until the morning it is publicly released.