Another jobs report, another dose of bad news for working families in Illinois, as the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics June jobs report shows that Illinois jobs in the education and health services sectors took the biggest hit.

Now, you may be saying, "But Illinois' unemployment number went down from 6.4% to 6.2%!" You would be right, but the reason is not more people finding gainful employment. It's because over 36,000 Illinoisans dropped out of the labor force, meaning that they've basically given up trying to find a job that pays a decent wage.

According to Michael Lucci, vice president of policy at Illinois Policy Institute,

The overall jobs loss for the state was driven by a large loss of 7,300 jobs in education and health services. There were modest gains in professional and business services and financial services of 3,000 and 1,700 jobs, respectively. Illinois’ manufacturing sector – an important benchmark for middle class job performance – showed a small gain of 100 jobs. However, the large losses in some sectors were not offset by the gains in other sectors, resulting in the net loss of 2,200 jobs on the month.

The report also shows the unemployment rate fell from 6.4 to 6.2 percent in June, due to a dramatic workforce drop out with 36,000 people leaving the labor force. Of those, 17,500 had been previously unemployed. Illinois is now tied for third highest unemployment rate with Louisiana and New Mexico, and only slightly trailing Alaska at 6.7 percent and Nevada at 6.4 percent.

Let's compare our unemployment rate with our neighboring states:

  • Illinois 6.2%
  • Kentucky 5.0%
  • Ohio 5.0%
  • Indiana 4.8%
  • Michigan 4.6%
  • Missouri 4.5%
  • Wisconsin 4.2%
  • Iowa 4.0%
  • Minnesota 3.8 %

And while we're at it, let's compare job growth:

  • Illinois lost 2,200 jobs
  • Indiana gained 4,200 jobs
  • Iowa gained 5,100 jobs
  • Kentucky gained 1,800 jobs
  • Michigan gained 19,700 jobs
  • Minnesota gained 7,300 jobs
  • Missouri's jobs count stayed the same
  • Ohio gained 12,400 jobs
  • Wisconsin gained 5,300 jobs

For Michael Lucci's full take on the jobs report and what it means for Illinois, click here.