The state’s unemployment rate is down, and according to Gov. Pat Quinn, it’s due to job creation, not people leaving the workforce. The unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent in August, the sixth straight month it has declined. Employers also created more than 13,000 jobs, and to Quinn, those statistics should stop anyone from being negative about the state’s economy. “For those want to be naysayers, they’re missing the boat,” Quinn said. “Get on board, get on board with the people of Illinois. We want to grow our economy the right way.”
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But Quinn’s Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, says the jobs numbers don’t match what he’s heard on the campaign trail. “The voters know, and they’ve told me, crystal clear, that they don’t believe Illinois’ going the right way, and they are suffering. They are feeling the pain of our lack economic growth,” Rauner said. The drop from 9.2 percent unemployment last August is the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says the drop in unemployment cannot be attributed to people leaving the workforce. Between July 2013 and 2014, DCEO says around 157,000 Illinoisans left the unemployment rolls. Of that number, about 27,000 did leave the workforce, though that includes retirees and people who chose to return to school.