Illinois Unemployment Second-Worst in Midwest

State ended 2009 with an unemployment rate that rose to 11.1 percent

Saturday, Jan 23, 2010  |  Updated 8:38 AM CDT
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Illinois ended 2009 with an unemployment rate that rose to 11.1 percent, up 0.2 percent from November.

The numbers provided by the Illinois Department of Employment Security indicate the Prairie State has the second-highest unemployment rate in the Midwest.  Only Michigan fared worse.  But both may soon run out of money needed to pay for unemployment insurance.

"The statewide unemployment rate reflects persistent weakness in national job growth as our country wrestles toward economic recovery," IDES Director Maureen O'Donnell said. "Given the depth of this recession, consistent and sustained job creation must occur at the national level before it can be expected in Illinois."

Indiana's unemployment rate crept upward to 9.9 percent in December from 9.6 percent in November.  Michigan's December rate was 14.6 percent, Ohio sat at 10.9 percent and Kentucky ended the year at 10.7 percent.

The national unemployment rate for December was unchanged from November at 10%.

State to Receive $6M for Green Jobs

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Wednesday announced the stimulus money will go to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity from the federal Department of Labor.

His office said the state department will use the money to train and place about 1,300 workers in energy-efficient jobs and help about another 1,700 workers earn degrees.

Projects include the Greater Rockford Solar Initiative and the Chicago Green Jobs for All Initiative.  About 150 public housing residents in Chicago will go through the program. It will train them in weatherization and climate-change related jobs.

Durbin said the money will "make a significant investment in the effort to reduce the carbon footprint of residents and businesses in Illinois."

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