In his Budget Address, Gov. Pritzker spoke about how a few industries were able to create jobs for Illinois residents while conveniently failing to mention the ongoing unemployment surge during his tenure.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois has the third worst unemployment rate in the country with almost 5 percent of the state’s workforce being unemployed. Meanwhile, the national average for unemployment is 3.7 percent as of December 2023.

Illinois ranks 42nd in the nation in non-farm jobs, with a gain of just 57,800 positions in 2023. Health services, federal government, and private education were the largest areas of increased employment last year. Leading the state in loss jobs, 25,900 jobs were loss in the business and professional sector last year.

The continued loss of residents from the state has had a heavy impact on job recovery since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported 32,826 residents left the state. This marks the 10th straight year of the state losing residents. Overall, the number of Illinois residents unemployed increased last year by 16,500.

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