Illinois Is The Slowest Midwest State In Getting People Back To Work
In addition to leading the Midwest in outbound migration (people leaving the state), Illinois trails all of our neighbors in getting people back on the job.
Millions of people lost their jobs due to the lockdown when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, while other Midwestern states are making great strides in seeing their residents return to work, Illinois' numbers show that we're trailing those states considerably.
In looking at the data published by the US Department of Labor, I found out that 37,626 Illinoisans filed for unemployment in the week ending July 11th, which brings our total new jobless claims to 1,458,097 since COVID-19 started hammering away at Illinois’ economy.
Illinois is now in Phase-4 of the five phases required by Governor Pritzker to fully reopen the state.
Other Midwestern states have approached reopening in ways that differ from our approach here in Illinois, and for those states the number of people seeking unemployment assistance has improved (or dropped) by double-digits.
Even the 2nd-slowest state in the Midwest to recover jobs, North Dakota, has shown a nearly 10 percent (9.9%) drop in unemployment claims.
Here in Illinois, we're at 2.6 percent.
The state that really seems to have it together as far as getting its people back on the job is Ohio, where their unemployment claims have dropped by nearly half (47.1%).
In Wisconsin, jobless claims have dropped almost 30 percent (29.7%).
This chart, from Illinois Policy, doesn't paint a very rosy picture of what's going on here: