Illinois’ unemployment rate is lagging behind

A new analysis of the nation’s jobs report shows that the national average unemployment rate currently sits at 3.5 percent. Meanwhile, Illinois’ own unemployment rate is at 4.4 percent, making it tied for the third highest rate in the nation.

While the state did see 31,200 new jobs from mid-June through mid-July, marking 14 consecutive months of job gains, Illinois still hasn’t fully recovered from the economic downturn caused by the pandemic as the state is still missing 88,600 pre-COVID jobs.

Additionally, the fact that Illinois still has a $1.8 billion unemployment trust fund deficit raises concerns about how much assistance could be provided to Illinoisans who lose their jobs, and how large of a tax increase small businesses within the state could face.

If that $1.8 billion debt isn’t repaid by Nov. 10, the federal government will begin to charge $21 per employee annually on all businesses within the state next year, and businesses will be forced to pay an undetermined higher state tax to fund unemployment programs.

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