Less is making Illinois' unemployment rate look better, but the Illinois Policy Institute explains that it's a distorted view. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.5 percent to 7.1 percent in June. However, the improvement is not because of job creation. Instead, people have quit looking for a job and are leaving the workforce -- 21,700 of them in June. The institute said the number is worse than the worst month of the Great Recession, September 2008, when 17,500 Illinoisans left the workforce. Yikes.
The state also reported 5,200 net new jobs in June, but Illinois is down 18,100 jobs for 2014 -- the worst record in the nation. The Policy Institute said Illinois is the only Midwest state to have a net loss of jobs in 2014.
Gov. Pat Quinn said after the unemployment numbers were announced that the state needs to keep the momentum. But as the Policy Institute notes, the momentum is in the wrong direction.