Illinois’ unemployment rate is down to 7.1 percent.
This is a decline from 7.5 percent a month ago, and from 8.4 percent three months ago, the biggest three-month drop since they started keeping track 38 years ago.
What’s happening? Greg Rivara of the Illinois Department of Employment Security says businesses have gone as far as they can go without hiring more workers to meet demand for their products and services. “They were able to get by with the persons that they had and working some overtime. Now the demand is such that they need to go back out into the labor force and they need to make new hires,” he said.
The unemployment rate hasn’t been this low since 2008. The number of jobs is up by 6,000, but the number of unemployed is down by 30,600, a discrepancy explained by the fact that the numbers come from different surveys.
The Illinois unemployment rate remains 1 full point above the national rate.