(The Center Square) – A new study shows that Illinois’ economy continues to trail the rest of the nation as the Land of Lincoln finished dead last in unemployment rates last month.
Illinois’ October unemployment numbers show a slight improvement, but the state is still at the bottom compared to the other state’s job markets, marking the second month in a row that Illinois has held the nation’s worst jobless rate.
Justin Carlson of the Illinois Policy Institute explained where Illinois ranks.
“The unemployment rate in October only ticked by point one percent from 4.5 to 4.6, but that is still the highest in the nation,” Carlson said. “I believe Illinois is only tied with the state of Nevada.”
Carlson said high taxes and state pension debt are hindering the job market in Illinois.
“The state has a very high tax burden. Illinoisans pay some of the highest taxes in the country,” Carlson said. “It has a huge public debt burden stemming from pension debts. It has the worst pension crisis in the nation.”
The numbers also show that Illinois is struggling to keep up with other Midwestern states as their unemployment numbers are significantly below those in Illinois. For example, Wisconsin has an unemployment rate of 3.3%, Indiana sits at 3%, Iowa is at 2.9% and Missouri has an unemployment rate of 2.6%.
State officials say the new numbers show continued improvement for the state.
“Job growth throughout the state has remained strong for nearly a year and a half, and the most recent data is evidence that workers are engaged in the growing labor market,” Deputy Gov. Andy Manar said. “IDES is committed to providing job seekers and employers with the resources necessary to take advantage of the many newly created jobs across industries.”