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Peoria officials will use a state grant to turn downtown office space in the central Illinois community into subsidized housing for the homeless.

Illinois' unemployment rate has hit its lowest level in more than a decade.

The Chicago mayor's office says the number of tourists to the city in 2017 was more than 55 million - a new record.

New details are emerging about the Obama Presidential Center including design revisions for a taller and sleeker museum tower and hundreds of new trees. 

Peoria Public Radio

Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois is benefiting from a $10 million grant from Google.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's son Howard Buffett will build a $4.2 million regional dispatch center south of Decatur in central Illinois.

Some of Chicago's top business executives are leading the effort to bring online retailer Amazon's second headquarters to the area. 

Peoria Ag Lab to Remain Open

Jul 12, 2017

Peoria’s National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research is off the chopping block.

An application for a fracking permit in southern Illinois has revived the debate on high-volume oil and gas drilling. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord is a poor attempt to pit environmental protection and economic growth against each other.   Emanuel says that is a false choice. He adds Chicago has proved jobs can be created while reducing a carbon foot print and the city will continue to do both.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale officials say nearly 80 employees are losing their jobs and dozens more could be affected as the school struggles financially due to the ongoing state budget impasse.  Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell says officials have been trying to identify $19 million in permanent reductions since March.

LeBlanc Construction Photos 2012 / Wikimedia Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate fell below six percent in February. 

Caterpillar Looks to Year Ahead

Jan 26, 2017

2016 saw more reductions in sales and revenues for Caterpillar. That grows on the losses of 2015. Sales and revenue of $38.5 billion represents a more than 30-percent decline over the two year period.

Since the company announced its massive restructuring plans at the end of 2015, it’s cut 16,000 jobs around the globe. Caterpillar’s 2017 outlook also anticipates another $500 million in restructuring costs.

State officials say television and film production generated nearly a half-billion dollars in spending in Illinois last year.  The Illinois Film Office says the 2016 figure of $499 million represents a 51% increase over 2015. Film office officials say the state worked with 345 television, commercial and film projects which generated nearly 13,400 job hires during 2016.

Wikimedia Commons

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - A company in central Illinois has set aside two days next week for interviewing applicants for web chat and call center jobs.  

Chris Watt / Flickr/Creative Commons

AURORA, Ill. (AP) - Online retailer Amazon.com plans to open new fulfillment centers in Illinois and Michigan.

 The announcements came Tuesday about the Seattle-based online retailer's plans. The company and Illinois officials said in a statement Amazon plans to open two fulfillment centers in Aurora, Illinois, and the project is expected to add more than 1,000 full-time jobs.

Illinois Issues: Frackonomics

Dec 16, 2016

A few years ago, Illinois adopted regulations for high-volume horizontal fracking, but it was slow to get the permitting process up and running.

Those in southern Illinois who were hoping for an economic boom have since seen the promise of fracking go bust. 

Illinois officials say the state's unemployment rate in November remained at 5.6 percent.  

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that nonfarm payrolls increased by 1,700 jobs last month. That's based on preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and IDES.

October figures were revised to show a growth in 3,400 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of 2,200.

Total jobs remain below the national average and Illinois is about 30,000 jobs short of its peak employment rate of September 2000.

Chuck Bryant / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHICAGO (AP) - The state Department of Employment Security says unemployment decreased in Illinois in August, the fourth-straight monthly drop.

But state officials were not celebrating the drop in the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent from 5.8 percent in July.

Instead on Thursday department Director Jeff Mays noted that the state also lost jobs in August. According to the department's monthly report on statewide unemployment, nonfarm jobs in Illinois decreased from 6,016,900 to 6,008,700. Percentage wise the decrease is very small, far less than 1 percent. But the loss of 8,200 jobs included a drop of 4,400 manufacturing jobs.

Wind Energy a Boon to Economy

Sep 5, 2016

A new study makes the case for wind energy as a boon to the economy.  David Loomis is Director of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, which did the analysis. He says when adding up various factors, wind farms in Illinois account for 6 billion dollars worth of activity over a 25 year period.  Among those factors: jobs.

Governor Bruce Rauner has taken his turnaround agenda campaign to Bloomington calling for workers' compensation reform to save Caterpillar jobs that are moving to Arizona. During a mid-day stop at Nord Outdoor Power on Hamilton Road, Rauner used Caterpillar Incorporated's announcement this week it is moving its mining division operations from Illinois and other states to Arizona.

State officials say the unemployment rate sharply spiked in Illinois in November as more people started looking for work.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the statewide unemployment rate fell in September but the state lost jobs.

Peoria area workers at Caterpillar and other companies who suddenly find themselves out of work will be getting help finding employment in the region.

Flazingo Photos / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in June. It was the first time the state jobless rate fell below 6 percent since 2008.  The department said Thursday in its monthly unemployment report that the state nonetheless lost 7,500 jobs for the month.

The state jobless rate fell from 6 percent in May. Nationally, unemployment was 5.3 percent in June.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment fell in every metro area in the state in April. It was the 14th consecutive month of decreases across the state's metro regions.

A cement company that closed its Dixon plant in 2008 amid the economic downturn says it's ready to reopen the northern Illinois facility.

Rauner touts Right To Work

Mar 9, 2015

Governor Bruce Rauner has been traveling the state laying out his vision for creating a more pro-business climate in Illinois.  Monday the governor toured a transportation company in St. Anne which is looking to expand.

State to authorize 97 Enterprise Zones

Dec 8, 2014

The development tool known as an Enterprise Zone is supposed to be for depressed areas that need the particular attention of government to attract private sector investment. The state is preparing to authorize 97 E-Zones in the next several years that would provide income, sales, and property tax breaks for business location. 

Illinois Leads Nation In Improvement in Unemployment

Oct 21, 2014

Illinois had one of the stronger showings in the nation in new jobs last month and it led the way nationally with a a 2.5% drop in unemployment from September of last year to September of this year.

Figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show Illinois added more than 19,000 jobs last month, marking the second largest increase in the nation. 

Illinois trailed only Texas in month over month employment.

The biggest gains came in  professional and business services. That includes more accounting jobs which have increased in the Chicago area.  

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