October 2013 unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and IDES have been posted to the WIRE’s Unemployment Page. These rates indicate a slight improvement in unemployment in Chicago and Illinois compared to the previous months, but negligible overall improvement since last year. Chicago’s unemployment rate of 9.9 percent is at the same level as October 2012’s rate.
IDES Director Jay Rowell reacted positively to the modest job growth in the last months, but notes that Illinois’, “overall economic growth will be slowed if Congress does not continue unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed”. Federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed are set to expire on December 28 without congressional action.