The Flash Index for the Illinois economy measured 106.0 in August, down slightly from July’s reading of 106.2.
University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says the Index has stayed within the narrow range of those two numbers for the past four months.
He says one positive sign is Illinois’ July unemployment rate of 6.8%. That’s the first drop below 7.0% since 2008. Giertz says a few years ago, Illinois’ jobless level was two percentage points higher than the national rate. But now the two figures are within a percentage point of each other.
“We’ve continued to grow", said Giertz. "The national economy has continued to grow. The problem is, that neither is growing as fast as most people hoped. Again, we’re heading in the right direction, but we’re getting to the goal in a very slow way. Because the unemployment rate, even though it’s going down, is still high by long-term comparisons.”
Any Flash Index reading above 100 reflects economic growth. But the August reading of 106 is still lower than the 107 reading it gave last December.
Giertz says the Illinois economy is still recovering from the harsh winter of a few months ago.
The Flash Index is based on Illinois tax receipts, and Giertz says the state’s sales, personal income and corporate taxes are all down slightly from a year ago.
Illinois officials say they expect to get the first indications next week of how many patients are applying for special ID cards allowing them to use medical marijuana.
An Islamic radical group released a video on Tuesday that purportedly shows the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff, according to SITE Intel Group.
It’s expected to be some time before the courts decide whether Illinois can trim retirement benefits for public school teachers, university workers, and state employees. But the uncertainty continues to affect the credit outlook of schools and community colleges across the state.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated stemming from his arrest after a traffic stop in March.
Danville's annual Finest Vs. The Bravest softball tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday, September 6th, at Danville Stadium, after being rained out August 23rd.
Detroit's historic bankruptcy case is entering the home stretch. The crucial, final trial phase begins Tuesday in a Detroit courtroom. It will decide the fate of a plan to wipe out billions of dollars in debt and help Detroit emerge from bankruptcy as a new, revitalized city.
Two months prior to the November election, retiring Democrat Naomi Jakobsson has thrown her support behind her party’s nominee to succeed her.
North Korea has given foreign media access to three detained Americans who said they have been able to contact their families and --- watched by officials as they spoke --- called for Washington to send a representative to negotiate for their freedom.
Police in the St. Louis suburb where a white officer shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old have started wearing body cameras.