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Public sector job growth is good news for Chicagoans

the Dow Jones Industrial
the Dow Jones Industrial
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The public sector is creating jobs at their fastest pace in 5 years; according to a June 23 article in USA Today. Between February and May, state and local governments added 48,000 jobs. Some economists attribute the growth to the increase (both in volume and in the value) in home sales.

In the month of May, 36 states saw an increase in employment. Texas lead the way; adding almost 57,000 jobs in a single month. The unemployment results for the state of Illinois can best be described as mixed.

Over the same period (February 2014- May 2014), the unemployment rate in the State of Illinois went from 8.7 to 7.5%; a decrease of almost 15%. In May 2012, the unemployment rate in Illinois was 9.2%. In May 2013, it ballooned to almost 10%; according to the BLS.

One business professional viewed the news as fantastic. ”The economy moves in pieces; almost like a train. When the engine (private sector growth) is down, then companies lay off workers. Layoffs decrease the tax base; which is the foundation of state and local government revenues. When they have no money; then police, fire and other essential services are wounded, leading to public layoffs. But when the private sector is growing, the tax base increases, and public sector growth is a reality. This is fantastic news!”

State government job growth is rarely measured and seldom is it good news. Many have feared that the unemployment rate doesn’t tell the full story, and that the jobs that are returning are not as secure or as lucrative as the jobs were as late as 2004. Does this current news give you faith that the economy is picking up steam? Does the news have no impact at all on your opinion of the economy?

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Source: USA Today

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