Illinois Public Media News

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

August Flash Index Down Slightly At 106.0

By Jim Meadows

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.

Categories: Economics

Illinois Public Radio - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Illinois Schools In Pension Limbo

By Brian Mackey


(Duration: 3:36)

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.  

WILL - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2014 ~ Comment (0)

Fundraiser For Mideast Conflicts Vets Memorial Rescheduled

By Jim Meadows

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.

Categories: Community, Military, Sports

NPR - Illinois Public Media News - September 02, 2014

Detroit Bankruptcy Battle Begins In Federal Court

by Sarah Cwiek

Art works at the Detroit Institute of Arts would be safe from creditors under bankruptcy plan.

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.

Categories: Economics, Law

AP - Illinois Public Media News - September 01, 2014

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US Help

By The Associated Press

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.  

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