The director of Illinois’ Department of Employment Security is encouraged by the nation’s new unemployment report, but he says potential state worker layoffs could hinder growth here. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest in three years, as the country added 200,000 jobs. Jay Rowell, director of the state’s Department of Employment Security, says Illinois saw a net increase in jobs created – but a reduction of 8,500 public-sector employees hindered that growth.
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“Over the last year, we’ve had a net increase of about 6,500 jobs,” he says. “Had we not lost the 8,500 public jobs, that number would have been higher. But it’s very encouraging to see the nation and Illinois are adding jobs, and I think we’re moving in the right direction.” The governor, in his recent budget outlook for the next three fiscal years, showed increasing costs and declining revenues, so large cuts will be likely – including staff positions. There has also been talk in recent months of closing post offices and mail processing centers.