Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois' economy posted the strongest growth in the Midwest for September and October, with a gain of more than 25,000 jobs over the two-month period. Illinois reported significant employment gains for both months, while every other Midwestern state lost jobs or barely registered growth in September. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to creating jobs and driving Illinois' economy forward.
"These encouraging results show steady progress in our efforts to create jobs and strengthen Illinois' economic recovery," Governor Quinn said. "We have more work to do. Now the Illinois General Assembly must pass comprehensive pension reform, the most important action it can take to improve our business climate, raise the state's credit rating and create more jobs and opportunities in Illinois."
Today's job report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that Illinois gained 10,300 nonfarm payroll jobs in September and another 15,400 in October. Both figures led the Midwest region. In September, every other Midwestern state except Ohio reported job losses. Illinois' unemployment rate also fell to 8.9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September. Release of the data for September was delayed by the partial shutdown of the federal government.
Governor Quinn has initiated and supported numerous programs to bolster the economy, from increased investments in public works projects to a greater emphasis on job training. The programs support the state's transportation network and the skill levels of its workforce, two key attractions for employers. The Governor also has increased emphasis on attracting companies in high-growth sectors such as technology and health care, developed performance-based tax incentives for job creation, and fostered deeper connections between Illinois and international markets.
Under Governor Quinn's leadership, the state has worked relentlessly to identify and recruit companies with strong potential to bring jobs and economic growth to Illinois. The state has added 268,900 private sector jobs since January 2010, when job growth returned to Illinois following a two-year period of declines during the recession.