February saw a rise in the City of Chicago’s unemployment rate to 7.2 percent, and increase of .3 percent over last year. This explains why Mayor Rahm Emanuel is working so hard to bring jobs to the city.
One explanation for the rise comes from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The IDES blamed the rise at least partly on the fact that more people are actively looking for jobs recently, as the economy seems to be improving.
The poor job situation is just one more crisis Emanuel has been dealing with lately. He has also been taking the heat for the high crime rate, the poor performance of the city’s schools, and the large pension debt, to name just three.
Businesses in Chicago have been feeling the pinch, and have expressed their unhappiness about the large property tax increase that arrived in Chicago this year to help alleviate the pension problem. There is a fear that this new tax could persuade some businesses to flee the city, or how much of a presence they choose to have in Chicago.
The greater Chicago metro area, including Naperville and Arlington Heights also saw a rise in unemployment: from 6.5 percent a year ago to 6.7 percent in February. The area ranks in first place of the 51 metro markets in the country with populations of one million or more with the highest unemployment rate, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Las Vegas comes in second with a 6.5 percent rate of unemployment.