In the 1967 movie "The Graduate," a party-goer famously offers Dustin Hoffman's character one word of career advice: Plastics. In 2014, the best career advice for a new graduate might be: Government.
That's especially true in Illinois, where the economy continues to sputter along because of oppressive taxes, fees and regulations.
Our state's unemployment rate is still higher than the national average (and the metro-east is higher than that). The state numbers have improved, to 6.8 percent in July from 8.7 percent in February. Unfortunately, much of the improvement is because people have dropped out of the workforce. In that period 107,300 people dropped out compared with 67,600 jobs added.
While some private businesses talk about downsizing or moving out of Illinois, government employment is stable. State workers get good pay and benefits guaranteed for life.
It's not the best time to be a political hire at the Illinois Department of Transportation, but otherwise it's a great gig if you can get it.