Construction strike skews Illinois jobless numbers

By Ameet Sachdev
Posted Aug. 19, 2010 at 2:55 p.m.

Illinois lost 20,200 jobs in July, but the numbers look worse than they are because of last month’s construction strike that shut down projects across the state.

The 19-day work stoppage ended around July 20 but not before the Illinois Department of Employment Security took its survey of the labor force.

The state said Thursday the construction industry lost nearly 15,000 jobs last month, almost the same number of workers represented by unions that walked off the job in early July.

Despite the job losses, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 10.3 percent, from 10.5 percent a year ago, mostly because of people giving up the search for work. In June, the unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, as the state gained 3,900 jobs.

Illinois’ jobless rate remains above the national average. In July, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.5 percent. The U.S. Department of Labor said that the nation lost 131,000 jobs in July, in large part due to layoffs as the Census finished its work. The end of the Census contributed to the 5,200 jobs the state lost in the government sector last month.

On the positive side, the manufacturing, educational and health services industries added 6,000 jobs in Illinois last month. The manufacturing sector added positions for the fifth consecutive month, the state said.

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One comment:

  1. Sepp Dietrich Aug. 19, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    more lies from the trib-horrific jobs #s that the trib pumps up as good in order to maintain the myth of Obama. gotta keep the Pritzkers happy ,Trib -or are you guys angling for jobs in the big leagues of pro-Bama journalism-CNBC?