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Archive for December, 2013

Illinois Cops Working Overtime to Crack Down on Drunk Drivers; Unbuckled Motorists for New Year’s

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Drunk Driving and Seat Belt Patrols Scheduled Through First Weekend of 2014

SPRINGFIELD, IL – As 2013 comes to an end, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police and over 250 law enforcement agencies across the state today reminded Illinois motorists that they will put in overtime during the New Year’s holiday and into 2014. This final push has a dual purpose: Zero motor vehicle fatalities during New Year’s; and a strong, safe start to 2014.

Hundreds of additional law enforcement hours funded with federal funds through IDOT will provide roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other patrols reminding motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.” This statewide effort will ramp up during New Year’s Eve and continue strong through the first weekend of 2014 to help counteract what can tragically be one of the most dangerous times on Illinois roads.

IDOT crash data shows in the last five years (2008-2012) during the New Year’s holiday, 38 people died in motor vehicle crashes on Illinois public roadways. Fifteen, or 40 percent, of those 38 individuals, died in crashes involving at least one driver who had been drinking. During the same five-year timeframe on New Year’s, 2,868 people were injured.

During the previous New Year’s holiday, seven people lost their lives and 664 were injured in motor vehicle crashes on Illinois public roadways. Three of the seven fatalities resulted from crashes involving at least one drinking driver.

“Unfortunately, New Year’s on Illinois roads is deadly and can be one of most dangerous times of the year because of drunk drivers,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “Motorists can expect to see Illinois State Police and hundreds of other local law enforcement officers in every corner of our state working hard to get drunk drivers off the road and keep the roads safe.”

“Getting behind the wheel after drinking too much is a criminal act that jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on our roads. If you are going to drink, plan another way home before the celebration begins, and always buckle up in the front seat and back,” Secretary Schneider continued.

In 2009, 911 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on Illinois public roadways, marking the first time in the Twentieth Century that Illinois experienced fewer than 1,000 fatalities on its roadways. Since then, Illinois has had 3 additional years with sub-1,000 highway fatalities. While it appears the 2013 fatality total will once again fall below 1,000, it is of concern that fatalities have risen slightly in the last two years and 2013 looks to be the third year in which a fatality increase will be recorded. As of Friday, December 27, with just 4 days left in the year, motor vehicle fatalities were 21 higher than at this point last year.

IDOT and law enforcement recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family members drive drunk. These are just two of several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for drunk driving. Other important tips include:

· Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.

· If you’ve been drinking, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.

· Use your community’s designated driver program.

· Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.

· Wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers are safely buckled up. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.

To view a preliminary daily snapshot of Illinois crash data for 2013, please visit http://wrc.dot.il.gov/fatalcrash/crashdata.aspx.

Topinka helps taxpayers ‘Follow the Money’

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Tax return insert shows how dollars are spent

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka on Monday announced that when Illinois residents open their income tax returns in 2014, they will receive a breakdown of state spending, information about its unpaid bill backlog and other tools to help them better ‘follow the money.’

Beyond putting the financial information in every tax return check envelope, Topinka said her office will make it readily available to taxpayers online.

To view the insert, please visit illinoiscomptroller.com, and click the icon in the right corner of the page.

“There should be no mystery when it comes to public dollars in this state,” Topinka said. “Residents should know exactly where their money is spent and they shouldn’t have to dig for it. This insert gives taxpayers insight into state spending and directs them on where to go for even more detail.”

Specifically, the tax return insert illustrates what state agencies spend annually on everything from Education and Medicaid to Human Services and Corrections. It further provides snapshots of the state’s unpaid bills over time, documenting the backlog at the end of the fiscal year and six months later at the end of the calendar year. Finally, it refers residents to the Comptroller’s transparency websites, the Ledger and the Warehouse, for more detail on state and local finances.

The initiative is part of Topinka’s ongoing effort to increase transparency and accountability in state and local government. In launching the Ledger last year, she enabled taxpayers to click their way through everything from the state’s daily bill backlog numbers to state agency budgets and employee salaries.

She more recently created the Warehouse, a comprehensive database that puts Local Government financial information and tens of thousands of records at a single location for taxpayer review. The Warehouse became possible in 2012 after Topinka successfully pushed for legislation requiring local governments and TIF Districts to file Annual Financial Reports electronically.

On Monday, the Comptroller thanked Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas for leading the way on the local level by introducing a similar insert last tax season.

“Treasurer Pappas introduced a similar initiative in Cook County and it raised awareness of how property tax dollars are spent,” Topinka said. “I am thrilled to do the same thing at the state level and take yet another step toward greater transparency. And I assure you, we’re not done yet – so stay tuned.”

Kohl Children’s Museum is ringing in the New Year with two kid friendly New Year’s Parties at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 P.M. on Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Entire Wing of the Museum to be Transformed into a Times Square-Style Party with Giant Confetti Drop During Both Celebrations

GLENVIEW, IL – Kohl Children’s Museum is ringing in the New Year with two Times Square-style parties designed specifically for young children with “midnight” celebrations at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at the Museum (2100 Patriot Boulevard). The Museum will transform an entire wing into a huge New Year’s Eve celebration, complete with giant confetti drops at “midnight.”

Children and their families will enjoy live musical performances, party hat making and horns, parachute play and “Imagination Playground” block play. Children and their families who attend the morning celebration at 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. geared towards the younger patrons (0-3 years old) will be treated to a children’s concert with Jeanie B, while guests of the 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. party, geared towards an older group (4-8 years old), will have a DJ and dance party. Stylists from KidSnips will also be on site to do free party hair styling and temporary hair coloring. All regular exhibits will also be open.

“New Year’s Eve is an exciting time for families and our special celebration allows guests to experience the ultimate celebration to ring in the New Year together,” said Museum President and CEO Sheridan Turner. “2014 is going to be a momentous year at the Museum, with new exhibits and events throughout the next 12 months that we can’t wait to unveil and share with all of our dedicated patrons.”

Tickets are $24 per person; Kohl Children’s Museum members can purchase advance tickets for the discounted price of $14. The Museum will be closed to the public on this date, other than to ticketed individuals. www.kohlchidlrensmuseum.org/nye

About Kohl Children’s Museum
In recognition for its outstanding exhibits and impact on Chicago land families, Kohl Children’s Museum was recently named one of the country’s Ten Best Children’s Museums by Parents Magazine. The Museum was ranked sixth out of more than 300 children’s museums nationwide and was the only Chicago area museum recognized.

Offering 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children age’s birth to 8, the Museum’s mission is to encourage young children to become effective learners through self-directed complex play. Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., in Glenview, Ill. at the corner of Patriot Blvd. and W. Lake Ave. in the newly redeveloped area known as The Glen. The Museum can be easily reached by public transportation, including Pace bus and Metra trains.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website at www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org or call (847) 832-6600. The Museum is open on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Special members-only hours are from Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Admission prices are $9.50 for children and adults and $8.50 for senior citizens. Children under 1 year old and members are free.

Collins: Legal protections for homeowners seeking loan modifications extended until 2015

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) heralded the signing last week of legislation that renews judicial protections for homeowners for the next two years. State law requires a judge to set aside a foreclosure sale if the bank disregards an existing loan modification agreement or the homeowner’s request for a modification through a federal foreclosure assistance program. The provision was scheduled to expire tomorrow, but once the federal program was extended, Collins saw the need to maintain state-level protections for the borrowers who take advantage of it.

“I am extremely pleased that Illinois is renewing its commitment to a program that has helped nearly fifty thousand homeowners and their families stay in their homes,” said Collins. “Faced with job loss, medical debt, falling property values or other obstacles, many of our neighbors are still in need of assistance and deserve the protection of the courts as they endeavor to make their payments and keep their homes.”

The Home Affordable Modification Program, part of the federal Making Home Affordable package of foreclosure assistance options, allows homeowners threatened with foreclosure to make mortgage payments that fit within their budgets. Most loan modifications involve a lower interest rate, but more than half extend the repayment term, and almost a third involve principal forbearance. A related program, HAMP-PRA (Principal Reduction Alternative), allows for part of the loan’s principal to be forgiven for some borrowers. The goal is to reduce the monthly payment to 31 percent or less of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.

Under state law, if a financial institution fails to adhere to the rules of the federal program and proceeds with a foreclosure action even though the borrower has requested assistance through HAMP and/or complied with an existing loan modification agreement, the homeowner can ask a judge to invalidate the sale of the home. Collins’ legislation extends the sunset date on that provision to December 31, 2015.

Better Business Bureau Offers Safe and Cost-Efficient Ways to Winterize Your Home

Posted by Admin On December - 31 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Each winter, consumers are looking for ways to save money on home heating. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests ways for homeowners to safely winterize their homes and save money in the process.


“High heating costs are a problem each winter when money is tight,” says Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois.

“Winterizing a home is economical because a small up-front investment is worthwhile for months. It increases the energy efficiency of a house and lowers overall heating costs.”

According to the Energy Information Administration, more than 90% of the 116 million homes in the United States are expected to have higher heating costs than the previous winter. Homes heated primarily with propane are expected to spend an average of 9% more than last winter, and homes heated with electric heat are expected to spend 2% more. Fortunately, homeowners can reduce some of the costs by winterizing their home.

The BBB offers the following tips for winterizing homes:


  • Caulking and Weather Stripping. To prevent air leaks, homeowners should inspect the caulking around windows and doors to check for cracking and peeling. In addition, ensure that doors and windows are shut tightly and no cold air is coming in due to worn down weather stripping.
  • Ceiling fans. By reversing the direction of your ceiling fan so the blades turn clockwise, you push warm air down and force it around the room.
  • Furnace. Furnaces older than 15 years might be due for a replacement. For newer furnaces, make sure the filter is clean and the thermostat is working properly.
  • Heating ducts. Ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Homeowners should also consider adding insulation to any exposed ductwork in order to prevent losing heated air.
  • Emergency kit. When a winter storm strikes, an emergency kit should have all essential materials in one handy place. An emergency kit should include flashlights, candles and matches, a first aid kit, bottled water, non-perishable food and a battery-powered radio. Create the same emergency kit for the car as well, including a couple blankets.
  • Smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors. Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and install fresh batteries. Homeowners should consider replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years.
  • Gutters and ridge vents. Gutters should be cleaned to prevent any clogs that would cause rainwater to back up and freeze, making the gutters expand and crack. The ridge vents need to be cleaned as well in order to help prevent stagnate air.
  • Windows. Window screens should be taken down and replaced with storm windows; they provide an extra layer of protection and keep the house warmer. Investing in a window insulator kit is an inexpensive option to keep out drafts.

For more advice you can trust and free referrals on home maintenance and saving money this winter, visit BBB online at www.bbb.org

Why Americans have grown to hate Congress

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS
By William Spriggs

Congress has itself to blame for its low ratings among the American people. Policymaking is all about choices; it is the calculus of weighing costs and benefits and the distribution of those costs and benefits. In theory, there are lots of policies that can make everyone better off, but they can only be accomplished by redistributing the gains of the policy.

Congress recently passed a budget deal that ended extended unemployment benefits for those unemployed for more than six months. Congress could choose to increase government expenditures-rather than their current stance of decreasing them-as was done in all other economic recoveries.

Republican members of Congress think America’s working families have forgotten that Republicans expanded real government expenditures (adjusting for inflation) in the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan and 2001 under President George W. Bush by about 16 percent at this point in the business cycle.

The stalemate caused by Republican refusal to increase government expenditures has resulted directly in lower public sector employment-the loss of hundreds of thousands of public school teachers across the country; and more broadly in a tepid recovery.

The argument against restoring government is that it will increase the federal deficit, leaving unpaid bills for our children to pay and put pressure on interest rates that will hurt investment and homeownership by the middle class and tie the hands of future budgets with large interest costs. Well, of course, the failure to back President Barack Obama’s America’s Job Act back in 2011 has meant fewer teachers for our children today, rising class sizes and closed schools in many of America’s cities, meaning our children will pay with higher dropout rates, lower achievement and lower future earnings. So, that is a trade-off most people think is not sensible.

Currently the Federal Reserve, understanding the dire situation of the economy, has been aggressively pursuing a policy to keep long-term interest rates down.  Its efforts has moderated the loss of wealth in housing that most people experienced when the housing price collapse took away the savings America’s workers stored in their homes as equity.

The Fed policy also has meant a tremendous growth in the Fed’s holding of U.S. Treasury notes. The odd thing about that is that the Federal Reserve’s profits from receiving interest payments from holding those bonds go back to the U.S. Treasury. So, currently the structure of U.S. debt is at long-term low rates, and the net interest payments are lower because the Fed pays the interest back to the Treasury. This makes the arguments about interest rates silly.

Ultimately federal debt does have to be paid. Since 2009 and the current recovery, 95 percent of income gains have gone to the top 1 percent of American incomes. In the fairness category, most people would agree that if the net result of policies has benefited the top 1 percent only, then they should be the ones paying taxes. It follows directly from a belief that everyone can be made better off, but only if the people benefiting from the economic policy share the gains with others. But, Republicans have fought hard to protect the 1% from paying their share of policy gains with others. One example is of corporate CEOs who have boosted their salaries by shipping U.S. jobs overseas because of “trade” agreements favoring corporations over human, worker and environmental rights. Through the 1970s, CEOs made 20 times their typical worker; today they take home more than 230 times the pay of their typical worker. And, while the federal government isn’t taking advantage of low interest rates, CEOs are by using corporate borrowing to buy back the company stock and boost stock prices and CEO wealth and pay.

So, if the point of all this fiscal austerity is to protect us from federal debt in a time of low interest rates, we see who is benefiting. If we favor austerity over creating jobs, then we should at least compensate the people we are asking to suffer-those who are unemployed.

Oddly, the research on the effect of extending unemployment benefits has pointed to this anomaly-people getting the benefit are more likely to keep looking for jobs longer rather than give up and drop out of the labor force (disappearing from the statistics). By ignoring them, Congress wishes they would go away. By ignoring the imbalances in their choices, the American people are wishing Congress would go away.

Follow Spriggs on Twitter: @WSpriggs. Contact: Amaya Smith-Tune Acting Director, Media Outreach AFL-CIO 202-637-5142

Number of Black-owned TV stations plummets to zero

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Number of Black-Owned TV Stations Plummets to Zero

New America Media
By Joseph Torres and S. Derek Turner

We just experienced a shameful milestone in the history of U.S. media — and barely anyone noticed.

There are now zero black-owned and operated full-power TV stations in our country.

This sorry state of affairs is the culmination of a trend that started in the late 1990s when Congress and the Federal Communications Commission allowed massive consolidation in the broadcasting industry. This policy shift crowded out existing owners of color and ensured that it would be nearly impossible for new owners to access the public airwaves. Recent FCC actions (and in some cases, inaction) have only hastened this decline in opportunities for diverse broadcasters.

From Little … to Nothing

When Free Press released its first report on the state of TV ownership in 2006, we found that there were only 18 African American-owned and operated full-power commercial TV stations — representing just 1.3 percent of all such stations.

By December 2012, those 18 had shrunk to just five. And now they’re all gone.

Roberts Broadcasting, a black-owned media company, just announced a deal to sell its three remaining full-power TV stations to ION Media Networks for nearly $8 million.

Once considered a phenomenal success story in an industry known for its stunning lack of diversity, Roberts Broadcasting was forced to declare bankruptcy in 2011.

This decline stemmed primarily from Viacom’s decision to shutter the UPN network, which Roberts had affiliated with due to UPN’s unique focus on programming featuring ordinary portrayals of African Americans.

Roberts Broadcasting’s exit from the market comes on the heels of the departures of two other prominent black owners.

In late October, the Sinclair Broadcast Group continued its buying spree by acquiring a Fox affiliate in Portland, Me., from a company helmed by Charles Glover, a funk musician turned broadcaster. That same month, Access.1 Communications agreed to sell its Atlantic City NBC station to Locus Point Networks.

New Jersey residents are up in arms about the deal: Locus Point is expected to close the station and give up its license as the FCC takes broadcast stations off the air and auctions those airwaves to cellphone companies.

Broken Promises

It’s hard to fathom the sorry state of broadcast ownership during the administration of our nation’s first black president. After all, during his first presidential campaign, President Obama pledged to “encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media.”

But that hasn’t happened.

Public interest and civil rights groups have warned the FCC that its policies allowing for greater media consolidation were going to push out the few remaining people of color who owned broadcast stations.

Media consolidation has made it harder for people of color to own broadcast stations because it raises entry barriers for small owners. Concentration makes it harder for any small owner to compete, and the few non-white broadcast licensees we have are far more likely to be small owners who control just a handful of stations or a single broadcast outlet.

Our nation’s history of discrimination created a lack of wealth in communities of color, and without access to capital, people of color find themselves permanently on the outside. And for those few owners of color who have been able to acquire stations, consolidation has made it harder for them to compete against larger and better-financed media conglomerates.

Can It Get Any Worse? Yes, It Can

If you think this situation can’t get worse, think again.

While owning a full-power TV station has been out of reach for most people of color, low-power TV has offered an opportunity to get into this otherwise closed industry.

Low-power TV commercial stations serve smaller areas than their full-power counterparts, and often lack legal protections, including guaranteed carriage by cable and satellite providers.

Consequently, they’re far cheaper to own.

At the end of 2011, the FCC reported that people of color owned 15 percent of all low-power TV stations, compared to just 3 percent of full-power TV outlets.

But this small ray of hope is expected to dim as the prospect of an auction to cellphone companies could drive out the owners of these low-power TV stations too.

The FCC is preparing to conduct that incentive auction in the next year or two. As a result, speculators have been buying up both low- and full-power TV stations in an effort to cash in.

This fervent speculation is creating a climate where many existing owners are forced to sell (as their creditors are more interested in pocketing a financial windfall than serving the community). We’re already seeing several full- and low-power owners of color exiting the market.

Will New FCC Leadership Bring Change We Can Believe In?

The FCC has a long and pitiful track record here, failing to promote or even preserve what little ownership diversity remains.

There’s hope this could change now that the agency has a new chairman.

But leaders have to lead.

In this case, that means the new FCC has to acknowledge that we’re well beyond a crisis point. Its own policies are responsible for the shameful state of minority ownership.

The elimination of black owners is a tragedy, but the FCC must take action to address its own failures.


Joseph Torres is senior external affairs director and S. Derek Turner is research director for the Free Press.

IDOT and Illinois Tollway Announce 70 mph Locations for New Law on Interstate Highways

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

New Law Increases Speed Limit to 70 mph on Interstates

CHICAGO, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois Tollway today announced the locations where Interstate speed limits will increase from 65 to 70 miles-per-hour when a new law takes effect January 1, 2014. Senate Bill 2356 was signed into law in August, increasing the maximum speed limit on Illinois Interstates from 65 to 70 mph, where deemed reasonable and safe. Drivers must to continue to watch for signs and obey the posted speed limits.

“IDOT crews will begin to remove the old 65 mph signs and install the new 70 mph signs in the designated areas early January to comply with the new law, but it’s very important that motorists obey the posted speed limits,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “We encourage motorists to respect and obey all Illinois traffic laws, buckle their seatbelts, and avoid distractions to help ensure everyone makes it to their destinations safely.”

“We remind our customers to always obey the posted speed limit while driving on the Tollway and all Illinois roads,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Kristi Lafleur. “The new 70 mph speed limit goes into effect on segments of our system that can accommodate the higher speed while still maintaining the safety of our customers, which is always our primary concern.”

Once the new law goes into effect, approximately 87 percent of Interstate highways and 98 percent of rural Interstates under IDOT’s jurisdiction will be increased to 70 mph. Approximately 28 percent of the Tollway’s 286-mile system will be increased to 70 mph.

IDOT and the Illinois Tollway will continue to review any roadway speed limit as needed, including monitoring changing traffic behaviors and the completion of construction projects.

IDOT fabricated approximately 900 new 70 mph signs intermittently over an approximate one month period. The signs were made with recycled materials at IDOT’s Central Sign Shop in Springfield. The signs have been distributed throughout the state and will be installed between January 2 and January 17, 2014, weather permitting. The total fabrication and installation cost for the 70 mph speed limit signs is estimated at $200,000.

For the Illinois Tollway, new 70 mph signs will be installed between January 7 and January 14, 2014, weather permitting, on a 64-mile segment of the Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88) and on a 15-mile portion of the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90) at a cost of about $18,000.

The new law includes an additional safety provision, which lowers the limit by five mph at which drivers may be charged by law enforcement with excessive speeding. Currently, the threshold for penalties is 31 mph over the limit. The new law lowers that threshold to 26 mph over the limit, in an effort to increase safety on Illinois roads.


National Economic Council Director responds to 1.3 million Americans “abruptly” cut off unemployment insurance

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Statement from Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council

As the President has repeatedly made clear, it  defies economic sense, precedent and our values to allow 1.3 million Americans fighting to find jobs to see their unemployment insurance abruptly cut off — especially in the middle of the holiday season. These are our neighbors, our community members and often fellow parents who depend on this as a temporary lifeline while they are actively looking for new jobs to support their families and make ends meet.  Never before have we abruptly cut off emergency unemployment insurance when we faced this level of long-term unemployment and it would be a blow to these families and our economy.

While we remain disappointed that Congress did not heed the President’s call to extend emergency unemployment benefits for next year before the holidays, the President as well as the Democratic Congressional leadership have made clear the importance of extending the benefits immediately upon Congress’s return. Senator Jack Reed and Senator Heller have put forward bipartisan legislation to extend emergency unemployment insurance for three months which would prevent these 1.3 million workers and their families from losing benefits while giving more time for consideration of further extension through 2014, and Leader Reid will bring it to a vote as soon as they return. The President strongly encourages both the Democratic and Republican Congressional leadership and their members to support this bipartisan solution and to pass the Reed-Heller bill.

Chicago, six other Metros add more than 60,000 jobs in November

Posted by Admin On December - 30 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Temporary Layoffs Push Up Rate Outside Suburban Chicago

Not Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Metropolitan Area

Nov.
2013*

Nov.
2012

Bloomington-Normal

7.0%

6.1%

Champaign-Urbana

7.9%

7.1%

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville

8.1%

8.3%

Danville

11.7%

9.4%

Davenport-Moline-Rock Isl.

6.5%

6.3%

Decatur

12.2%

10.1%

Kankakee-Bradley

10.7%

9.9%

Lake-Kenosha, IL-WI

8.0%

7.7%

Peoria

8.9%

7.5%

Rockford

11.0%

10.3%

Springfield

7.4%

6.9%

St. Louis (IL-Section)

8.4%

8.3%

* Data subject to revision.

CHICAGO, IL – The November unemployment rate in the Chicago‑Joliet‑Naperville Metro Division fell .02 to reach 8.1 percent while temporary layoffs pushed rates higher elsewhere, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). Not seasonally adjusted data compares November 2013 to November 2012.

Illinois businesses added jobs in seven metros. Largest increases: Chicago-Joliet-Naperville (+1.5 percent, +55,300), Lake-Kenosha (+1.2 percent, +4,700), Champaign-Urbana (+0.9 percent, +1,000). Largest decreases: Decatur (-3.0 percent, -1,600), Peoria (-1.7 percent, -3,100), and Bloomington-Normal (-1.0 percent, -900). Much of these decreases are connected to a temporary slowdown in global manufacturing demand. Industry sectors recording job growth in the most metros: Education and Health Services (11 of 12), Leisure and Hospitality (eight of 12), and Other Services (seven of 12).

Not seasonally adjusted data compares the current month to the same month of the previous year. The November 2013 not seasonally adjusted Illinois rate was 8.3 percent and 12.2 percent at its peak in this economic cycle in January 2010. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in November and 10.6 percent in January 2010 at its peak. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and looking for work and is not tied to collecting unemployment insurance benefits. Historically, the state unemployment rate is higher than the national rate.

Total Non-farm Jobs (Not Seasonally Adjusted) – November 2013

Metropolitan Area

November
2013*

November
2012**

Over-the-Year Change

Bloomington-Normal MSA

91,300

92,200

-900

Champaign-Urbana MSA

109,400

108,400

1,000

Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metro Div.

3,823,300

3,768,000

55,300

Danville MSA

29,900

29,800

100

Davenport-Moline-Rock Island MSA

185,000

184,900

100

Decatur MSA

51,100

52,700

-1,600

Kankakee-Bradley MSA

44,700

44,600

100

Lake County-Kenosha County Metro Div.

396,100

391,400

4,700

Peoria MSA

183,600

186,700

-3,100

Rockford MSA

150,700

151,200

-500

Springfield MSA

113,200

112,600

600

Illinois Section of St. Louis MSA

230,000

230,500

-500

*Preliminary **Revised

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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