Think Unemployment in Illinois is Bad Now? Be Glad It's Not 1983 Again

While Illinois' unemployment is the third-highest in the nation at just under 8 percent, it's much lower than the all-time high set back in 1983.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) came out with their April 2014 numbers and Illinois has its lowest unemployment rate since 2008, coming in with 7.9 percent unemployment. While that mark is still the third-worst in the country ahead of only Rhode Island and Nevada, it does mark a step forward for the state.

Illinois is still far off its best unemployment rate ever of 4.2 percent (imagine that!) set in February 1999, but things could be a lot worse. And they were, back in February 1983 when Illinois' unemployment rate was a whopping 12.9 percent.

We've got a chart of the highest and lowest unemployment rate in each state, and the District of Columbia, from 1976 to the present day so you can compare the unemployment history of Illinois with the other 49 states.

And if you just want to compare Illinois' unemployment to the rest of the country, particularly the Midwest, for just April 2014, check out this map and chart. Again, while the overall rate is the lowest in six years, Illinois is still lagging behind our Midwest neighbors.

» This article appears on all Patch Chicago sites. The views expressed in this post are those of Reboot Illinois and do not reflect those of Patch or its editors.

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Greg Smith May 20, 2014 at 01:03 PM
Oh, but there was so much prosperity under Reagan (for people who were already rich).
seer. May 20, 2014 at 02:10 PM
Seriously? Don't the shills at the Patch get tired of being govt flunkies w/ stories like this. Those manufacturing jobs that were still around in the 80's are GONE. Now the US govt just doles out $ to keep the serfs from rioting.
Vicky Kujawa May 20, 2014 at 03:51 PM
America Seer!
Eric Blair May 20, 2014 at 08:32 PM
Can’t find work now? Only going to get “better”. While the American people continue to sleep the Washington D.C. crowd vow that by 2050 the U.S. will have gained 100 MILLION more illiterate third world parasites. Doesn’t stop there. They also want to double H-1B visas (already 650,000 here) which cover “high skilled” workers while American college grads in all fields of engineering numbering in the hundreds of thousands can’t get hired with a job in their particular field. Hollywood can’t make this one up: Bill in U.S. congress called ENLIST or “Encourage New Legalized Immigrants to Start Training Act” (didn’t pass yet). ICE releases more than 36,000 “dangerous illegal immigrants with serious criminal convictions including 193 for murder. Illinois Sen. Durbin wants illegal’s in our military. TPP trade deal when passed will cost the U.S. hundreds of thousands of jobs in final nail in coffin of U.S. manufacturing. Americans won’t wake up. In many foreign countries political rallies of more than 10,000 people are common. In U.S. maybe 10 might show up. I’ve talked to young teenage illegal Mexican construction workers with no education who know far more of world political affairs than most Americans. Most Americans have no clue of how our monetary system operates. Our schools teach “tolerance” and hand out free condoms. Sickening. Why keep denying the obvious? The U.S.of A. is toast.


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