Illinois shed more manufacturing jobs last month than any other since the recession began.
In a report released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois lost 4,400 manufacturing jobs in August. That drop is more than any other since 2009's recession. The state has lost more than 8,000 total this year, much more than other Midwestern states.
Aurora-based ASK Power President Steven Kase said some manufacturing sectors are in better shape than others, but that a number of shops are shutting down for longer periods of maintenance due to an overall slowdown in the economy.
"In June and July, there were a number of manufacturers who were looking for an opportunity to keep their plants open instead of closing for end-of-year maintenance, and they didn't find them," Kase said. "When that occurs, it ripples through the economy."
Illinois Manufacturers' Association Vice President Mark Denzler said these job losses represent thousands of families.
"Every one of those job losses represents much more than a lost job,” Denzler said. “It's a family. It's a person. Up to this point, from June of 2009, Illinois has only created 4,600 manufacturing jobs. The losses in August have essentially wiped those gains out."
The report also showed more than 21,000 Illinoisans dropped out of the workforce altogether. The state has lost more than 100,000 workers altogether this summer.