Illinois has the highest jobless rate in the Midwest, and the third-highest in the nation. But not only that. Illinois’ jobless rate has gone up more in the last five years than any other state in the nation.
Despite this dismal record, cheerleaders for the state government cite various studies to support a claim that the state is making a comeback and leading the Midwest.
Illinois’ recovery from the Great Recession has been hindered by self-inflicted wounds. After the 2011 tax hikes, the Illinois jobless rate jumped from 9.4 percent to 10.2 percent. The US average declined in the same period. That’s not a comeback.
As for leading the Midwest? That can be settled with a Sesame Street game. In the last five years:
“One of these things is not like the others. Which one could it be?”
If you picked this one, you are right.
Illinois is the only state where unemployment has gone up. Illinois isn’t leading the Midwest. It’s headed in the wrong direction.