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Monday, May 19, 2008


Illinois Job Prospects Brighten

Illinois jobless rate dropped slightly in April to 5.4 percent from the previous month’s 5.5 percent, according to state officials. This is still slightly higher than the national average of 5 percent and up significantly from April of 2007’s 4.8 percent.

Like elsewhere in the nation, the manufacturing and construction sectors continue to do away with Illinois jobs. Both of these industries have been greatly effected by the housing market and rising price of fuel. The state’s Department of Employment Security says that manufacturers cut approximately 1,900 Illinois jobs last month alone, partially due to the auto industry’s struggles. According to the department, there was a loss of 1,200 construction jobs. This means that there are now 671,600 manufacturing and 264,600 construction jobs in the sate.

Despite these decreases in employment, professional and business services added 3,400 Illinois jobs. Educational and health services also added 1,800 new positions. These two industries helped to balance the problems that manufacturing and construction sectors could have created. Overall, the department says that 9,300 Illinois jobs have been created so far this year.

State officials have been discussing the movement of certain government jobs. Originally it was planned that 148 jobs with the Illinois Department of Transportation would be moved from Springfield to southern Illinois, although the exact location remains unknown. IDOT is now saying that the number of positions to be moved will be closer to 110. Brian Williamsen, a spokesperson for the agency said that this is still an estimate and not the final word on the transfers.

Governor Rod Blagojevich believes that transferring these jobs in Illinois will help the struggling economy in the southern part of the state. Williamsen agrees that the transfers could have a big impact. Positions that maybe staying in Springfield include that of the director of the Division of Traffic Safety and associated top staff members.

Last week, Governor Blagojevich said that he had “pretty much” decided the exact city he would like to transfer the jobs to, but has yet to announced the location. Perhaps Chicago's in need of some jobs?

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