State economic index shows improvement

Aug 1, 2013

The rising Flash Index shows a continually improving economy in Illinois. But the University of Illinois economist who compiles the Index says the state has not seen a corresponding fall in unemployment.  Fred Giertz with the U of I’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs says that at 9.8 percent in June, the Illinois unemployment rate has fallen more than two percentage points since its peak in early 2010. But he says it should have fallen more.

 “It has been falling. But this is not a usual recovery. Usually, a recovery takes place, and four years after the recession, we’re back to what we might consider a normal or acceptable unemployment rate, maybe five or six percent. So, we’re still a long ways away from that.”

 The Flash Index rose to 106-point-5 in July, up two tenths of a point from June, to reach its highest point since 2007. The Index is based on state income, sales and corporate tax receipts. Any reading above 100 represents economic growth.