In Obama's Home State, Unemployment Is Spiking; Expect Media Silence

August 15th, 2008 12:22 PM

Here's news the traditional media will work very hard to ignore.

According to data released by Uncle Sam's Bureaus of Labor Statistics today, the unemployment rate in Illinois is the fifth-highest in the country.

The Land of Lincoln had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.3% in July, up 2.2% from the previous year's 5.1%. That puts Illinois, along with California, in a tie for fourth place in the worst state unemployment rate derby, behind only Michigan (8.5%), Mississippi (7.9%), and Rhode Island (7.7%).

Illinois' 2.2% year-over-year unemployment rate increase is the third largest in any state, behind only tiny Rhode Island's 2.7% and smaller state Tennessee's 2.3%. Over 80% of Illinois' deterioration has occurred in the last three months, as its March unemployment rate was only 5.5%.

Meanwhile, in Arizona .....

The seasonally adjusted uemployment rate is 5.1%, well below the national rate of 5.7%. Among states with a higher population than Arizona, only DC-dependent Virginia and GOP-led Texas have lower unemployment rates (Massachusetts is tied).

Let's summarize (USA data is here):


The Land of Lincoln is currently the state represented in the US Senate by Democrats Barack Obama, Dick Durbin, and governed by Rod Blagojevich. Democrats control both houses of the legislature (General Assembly).

One "positive" development for Illinois was Barack Obama's decision to move Democratic National Committee operations to Chicago. That step appears not to have made much of a difference. This may be the best job-related idea -- moving the chairs around -- that Barack Obama has ever formulated. At least it didn't destroy jobs.

Arizona is represented in the Senate by Republicans John McCain and Jon Kyl, and governed by Democrat Janet Napolitano. Republicans control both houses of the Legislature.

Does anyone doubt that if the situation were reversed, we'd be constantly hearing about how bad things are in Arizona? Is anyone surprised that we're not hearing about how Illinois is falling off the cliff?

Cross-posted at