Illinois gains 19,500 jobs in November, but still lags recovery

Illinois gains 19,500 jobs in November, but still lags recovery

November job gains in Illinois were below the COVID-19 recovery pace set earlier in the year. They continued to lag the national recovery.

Illinois gained 19,500 jobs in November, but that growth of 0.3% was slower than prior months and continued to lag the national recovery pace.

So far in 2021, Illinois’ job growth has averaged 21,764 jobs per month, so November fell below that rate. Nonfarm employment increased by 558,100 since April 2020, but is down by 266,100, or 4.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

Illinois employment in November declined the most for the professional-business services sector, with a drop of 5,500 jobs. Small declines also affected mining and the “other services” sectors. Leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities sectors both gained 8,200 jobs, with significant gains in construction, manufacturing and the education-health sectors as well.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by a disappointing 0.1% in November. Across the country, nonfarm employment is still down by 2.6% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

While labor shortages remain a concern for most of the country, labor shortages haven't been as severe in Illinois as in the rest of the country. This is because Illinois, with a relatively younger workforce, faced fewer early retirements than the rest of the country. Second, Illinois also created new vacancies at a lower rate than other states since the recovery began.

Unfortunately, this also means Illinois job seekers were less likely than other Americans to find a job and wage growth was lower. Illinoisans are hurt more than other Americans by the current rapid increases in food, energy and shelter prices.

Eleven states, including Arizona, Iowa, New Hampshire, Missouri, Montana and Wisconsin, reformed their income-tax systems to reduce residents’ overall tax burden. They acted proactively to cut taxes, reduce costs for residents and jumpstart their pandemic-damaged economies.

Illinois taxpayers shouldn't plan on relief from higher property and income taxes anytime soon. Those drags on the state’s economy will continue thanks to the yearly rise in public employee retirement costs and lack of action to control those costs.

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