The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released employment data for the nation for the month of October 2015 on Friday. According to Business Insider, “Economists estimate US companies added 180,000 nonfarm payrolls in October.” A robust employment number was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, showing an increase of 271,000 new jobs in October, with the unemployment rate dropping to 5.0 percent, a 7-1/2-year low. After two straight months of tepid gains, the unemployment rate recovered in a strong show of domestic strength. For the 68th consecutive month, the U.S. economy has added a total of 13.5 million jobs created during this period —the longest streak on record. In total, the nation has added nearly two and a half million jobs, averaging more than 230,000 jobs per month.
The job growth has benefited across the nation, with an exception in the state of Illinois. The residents of the state are not feeling the love of a strong, robust and growing job market being felt across much of the nation. These numbers are lagging in the state and the citizens of Illinois are not feeling the impact of a surging job market. Governor Bruce Rauner heavily campaigned in 2014 on the platform of “job growth” and blaming his opponent, Governor Pat Quinn for tepid “job growth.” The evidence is that this promised “job growth” under Rauner never materialized.
Who says so? Governor Bruce Rauner himself and his head of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). On its website, the IDES admitted “Illinois Sees Minimal Job Growth.” Comparing Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015, the state of Illinois gained a paltry 27,200 jobs, compared to a national gain of nearly three million jobs.
During the month of September, the Illinois unemployment rate declined to 5.4 percent and nonfarm payroll employment lost a net of 6,900 jobs, deeply disappointing since the nation added 142,000 jobs. Rauner’s appointee to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Jeff Mays, makes the case for the “zero job growth” and the failure of Rauner’s policies.
“Illinois unemployment data since January have shown very weak employment growth compared to many other states,” IDES Director Jeff Mays said. “Sub-state data paint an even bleaker picture for areas outside of the Chicago area that have lost a net 10,000 jobs over the past year. Additionally, our internal unemployment insurance claims data indicate the likelihood of labor market softening in the coming months.”
In fact, Illinois has suffered four consecutive months of job losses. “Illinois businesses have added only 2,200 new jobs since the beginning of this year,” Mays said. “It’s been six years since the recession and job growth is still dismal. We’ve got a long way to go before Illinois realizes real employment and economic recovery.”
The reasons for this lack of “job growth” are multiple. The lack of a budget has created instability in the state, causing uncertainty in the marketplace. The credit ratings for Illinois are on a downward spiral. The bickering in Springfield has hurt the image of Illinois and Governor Rauner has failed to show that he can lead, continuing his campaign to break the backs of public employee unions as part of his “Turnaround Agenda.” The hope is that Rauner will show up for a public meeting with the four leaders on November 18 and start moving this state forward.