Although the last month of 2016 was disappointing for Illinois job-wise, the year as a whole finished in the black.
At the end of 2015 the unemployment rate in Illinois was 6.1 percent, higher than the 5.7 percent the rate reached at the end of 2016. But the month of December, 2016 was not a good one for employment. The state lost about 16,700 jobs that month alone, bringing the unemployment figure up to its final rate for the year, from 5.6 percent at the end of November, 2016.
November also had a net loss of jobs instead of the predicted gain. Illinois ended up losing 4,500 jobs in November rather than gaining 1,700, which had been forecast.
Jeff Mays, the director of the Department of Employment Security, said December’s job drop was “troubling, to say the least.”
Illinois is experiencing the same job loss trend as the rest of the country, but slightly more pronounced. The rate of job growth in Illinois was 0.5 percent, a bit slower than the nation’s figure of 1.5 percent. The country also saw a slight rise in unemployment for December, to 4.7 percent, significantly lower than for Illinois.
“Illinois needs structural reforms and a balanced budget to attract new jobs and investment in our state,” said Sean McCarthy, acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.