Quantcast

Tepid signs of economic recovery across state

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois' economy is showing signs of improvement and growth for the first time since the Great Recession began in 2008, according University of Illinois researchers.

By Anthony Brino

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois' economy is showing signs of improvement and growth for the first time since the Great Recession began in 2008, according University of Illinois researchers.

"This doesn't mean things are wonderful again, just that we're doing better," said Fred Giertz, an economist at the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Compiling the monthly Flash Index, Giertz measures the health of the state's economy by analyzing corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income. An index above 100 means the economy is growing, as it did this past month at 101.

In March, Giertz said, corporate profits were the strongest of the three factors. But with an unemployment rate at 9 percent as of February, Illinois' recovery still lags behind the national unemployment rate of 8.3 percent.

And in Illinois, some areas are lagging more than others. Brown and Adams counties, homes to strong manufacturing sectors, have unemployment rates of 5.2 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively, while Boone and Calhoun counties have unemployment rates at or above 15 percent. Of the state's 102 counties, 49 have unemployment rates above 10 percent.

Editors’ Picks