As of September, 11.7 million people were unemployed. But that doesn't include people who were working part time because they can't find a full-time job. It also doesn't include people who wanted a job but haven't looked for work in the past four weeks.
Illinois' unemployment rate dipped to 8.8 percent in September.
That's down from a rate of 9.1 percent in August. And the Illinois Department of Employment Security says the seasonally adjusted figures reported Thursday show Illinois' unemployment rate has fallen 10 times in the past 13 months.
IDES says Illinois added 13,800 jobs in September, and Director Jay Rowell calls the news "encouraging because it reinforces the trend of continued job growth."
Missouri's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nearly four years - good news for incumbent Jay Nixon with the election three weeks away.
The state Department of Economic Development announced this morning that the rate is 6.9 percent - down three-tenths of a point from August, and nearly three points below its recession-era peak in August of 2009.
The state says companies added 2,500 jobs in September, bringing the total number of new jobs this year to 24,700.
Illinois is getting $2.7 million to strengthen its efforts to fight waste and fraud in unemployment claims.
The grant from the U.S. Labor Department will help beef up anti-fraud programs launched in the past year.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security says it has begun garnishing tax returns of unemployment cheats, working more closely with the attorney general and holding business leaders personally liable for misstating company obligations.
A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
Credit Courtesy of Geoff Dutton
Geoff Dutton, an unemployed software developer, has given up on finding a job. He says the market has shifted, and he could not keep up. "I wasn't up on the new version of everything anymore," he says.
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.