March 11, 2014 - Wholesale trade receipts were down nearly two percent in January than they were at the close of 2013, but that was still an improvement compared to figures from 12 months ago.
March 11, 2014 - The number of job openings remained steady at four million in January, which is as it was for much of 2013. The U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics reports also hiring was slightly more common than the rate at which individuals were seperated from their jobs.
March 7, 2014 - Orders for manufactured goods slipped by another $2.2 billion in January, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. The loss follows a major decrease reported last month for December and came at the same time the trade deficit rose by $100 million as imports rose slightly and exports remained mostly flat.
March 7, 2014 - Economists at the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security are struggling to explain why the state's unemployment rate dropped to 8.7 percent in January at the same time nearly 27,600 extra people went without a paycheck compared to December. The Department reported heavy job losses in the trade, transportation, and utilities industry and revised December figures to reflect 7,300 fewer jobs than were initially reported.
Meanwhile, 175,000 more people in the U.S. received paychecks in February, which surpassed many expectations. Looking ahead to March, the number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance dropped to 323,000 people, which was well below the four-week moving average.
March 5, 2014 - Consistent with many other economic reports, the Institute for Supply Management says non-manufacturing businesses posted economic growth throughout February albeit less than what was reported in January.
March 5, 2014 - Employers added 139,000 nonfarm private sector jobs in February, which is "well below the average over the last 12 months," says ADP. Just less than 60,000 of those jobs popped up within small businesses.
February 28, 2014 - Mortgage rates stayed relatively unchanged over the last week, according to the latest figures from Freddie Mac. Long-term fixed loans averaged at 4.37 percent - and increase of 0.04 percentage points.
February 26, 2014 - New home sales jumped by nearly 10 percent between December and January alone, says the U.S. Census Bureau. The Bureau estimates nearly 468,000 homes were sold at the opening of 2014, which is a 2.2 percent increase over the same time period twelve months ago.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported a slow down in home sales throughout the Land of Lincoln brought on by low inventory and abnormally cold weather.
February 21, 2014 - As they have many times in the recent past, the average hourly earnings in the U.S. increased in January just as much as the Consumer Price Index. However this time prices in the Midwestern Index mostly kept up with national prices.
February 14, 2014 - The price of U.S. imports fell off in the twelve months leading up to January, but so too did exports, according to the latest indexes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
February 13, 2014 - The value of good farmland in Illinois is up by roughly 10 percent when compared to a year ago, says the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which based its calculation on responses to a survey.
February 13, 2014 - Manufacturing, retail, and food services all flashed receipts that were more than three percent higher than they were at the close of 2012, according to seperate reports issued by the U.S. Census Bureau.
February 11, 2014 - Wholesale trade ended 2013 on somewhat of a high note, according to figures calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau while inventories remained relatively unchanged.
February 11, 2014 - Possibly fueled by discouraging jobs reports that caused the stock markets to slip, consumer confidence has slipped in recent weeks, according to samples taken by Gallup.
February 6, 2014 - Long-term mortgage rates continued their dive last week, says Freddie Mac. Fixed 30-year loans averaged interest rates below 4.25 percent while 15-year mortgages were worth 3.33 percent. The announcement came amid concerns over the labor market, which economists at ADP estimate grew in January at rates seen throughout 2013.
February 6, 2014 - Business sector productivity increased in the fourth quarter of 2013, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
February 6, 2014 - The same day the Import-Export Bank announced U.S. exports were valued at $2.3 trillion, which set a new record, the U.S. Census Bureau's latest numbers how the nation's trade deficit increased by $4.1 billion to $38.7 billion.
February 6, 2014 - An illustration put together by GOVERNING magazine shows Illinois residents traded Cook County for one of its immediate surrounding counties at a faster rate than most other county-to-county movements throughout the country at the start of the decade.
Using U.S. Census Bureau data, the magazine showed more than 8,400 people moved from a Cook County address to DuPage County, which is the seventh largest of such movements in the nation. There is also a large volume of Cook County dwellers now residing in Kane County and Lake County, Indiana.
The Cook County exodus paled in comparison to those who moved away from Los Angeles County in California.
January 24, 2014 - Nearly 3,000 fewer people received a paycheck from a nonfarm job in December than in November, says the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security. However the number of people categorized as unemployed fell off by 2,000 which lowered Illinois's unemployment rate to 8.6 percent.
Construction, educational and health services, and government industries fell off the most while employers in manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities, and professional and business services reported larger payrolls.
Today's announcement also revised November numbers to include roughly 1,300 additional jobs that were not included in last month's calculations.
January 24, 2014 - Union membership in the workforce remained steady in 2013, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nearly 7.2 million public sector workers were part of a union. Meanwhile, roughly 7.3 million private sector workers were also part of a union. That equates to a more than 35 percent participation rate in the public sector and less than seven percent in the private sector.
Union membership in 2013 had a weekly median salary of $950, which was $200 higher than non-unionized workers.
In Illinois, the number of employees that belonged to a union was up by 50,000 in 2013. Those represented by a bargaining unit also jumped by 30,000. The state lost 89,000 workers during the same 12-month period.
January 23, 2014 - Mortgage rates are down for the third consecutive week, says Freddie Mac. The average 30-year fixed loan is back down below 4.4 percent while 15-year mortgages sank to 3.44 percent. Five-year adjustable mortgages gained points.
January 23, 2014 - Measurements taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago show economic growth continued through November and into December. Economic activity had returned to levels from before the temporary downtown in 2012.
January 21, 2014 - The International Monetary Fund porjects the U.S. economy to grow by 2.8 percent in 2014, which is higher than most other major economies.
January 17, 2014 - There were roughly four million jobs available on the last business day of November, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics.
January 17, 2014 - Fewer residential building permits were issued last month than in November, but overall the issuance rate was higher than in 2012, says the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of residential projects completed in December was up by more than 11 percent on the year.
January 16, 2014 - Fixed mortgage rates fell off last week, says Freddie Mac. New 30-year fixed rates are now averaging at 4.41 percent while its 15-year counterpart stood at 3.45 percent. Interest rates as a whole increasedmore than one percent in 2013.
January 16, 2014 - Real earnings were offset in December by an increase in the Consumer Price Index, according to the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics. In the Midwest, cost of living was down slightly compared to November but higher than December 2012.
January 15, 2014 - A late surge in the cost to produce crude-based goods may be what caused the Producer Price Index to finish 2013 1.4 percent higher than it did in 2012.
January 14, 2014 - General merchandise sales caneled out the last two months of gains in December despite the holiday season, according to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Other areas of retail and food sales showed improvement last month. Auto sales gained roughly six percent in 2013.
Meanwhile, manufacturing sales mostly flatlined throughout the year and remain at mid-2012 levels.
January 14, 2014 - Import prices finished 2013 down by just under one and a half percent, according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fuel imports were down, though not nearly as much as they were in 2012 as the market rebounds from the recession. Exports lost value - especially agricultural products, which were down by more than six percent after strong gains brought on by drought in 2012.
January 7, 2014 - Another rise in exports and decrease in imports led to a trade deficit of $34.3 billion in November, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The trade deficit for December may be on the decline, too, as the Institute for Supply Management reported continued service sector growth and as the global economy expands as a whole.
December 31, 2013 - Home prices continue to near pre-recession levels, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices.
December 30, 2013 - After months of being a statistical drag, Illinois added more to the overall Midwestern economy than any other state in November, according to measurements taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
December 19, 2013 - Nearly 567,500 people in Illinois were identified as unemployed by the Illinois Dept. of Employment Security in November, according to the Department's latest figures. If those preliminary estimates holdup, it means a decrease of nearly 12,000 people when compared to revised numbers from October.
Illinois's unemployment rate is reportedly now 8.7 percent.
The Department said the state's nonfarm workforce increase by 9,400 people last month with most of the growth taking place in the Construction, Education and Health Service, and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities fields. Meanwhile, Professional and Business Services and Financial Activities employers cut thousands of positions.
December 19, 2013 - The number of homes for sale in Illinois is down by nearly 20 percent compared to last year, according to research conducted by the Illinois Association of REALTORS. Coorespondingly, the Association also found that the number of homes sold was down over the last year as well though not as dramatically.
Economists have suggested existing home sales have been stunted by owners hoping to regain value lost during the Great Recession. The most recent home value figures are more than seven percent higher than they were in 2012.
December 19, 2013 - Personal incomes grew at a faster rate in at least 40 other states than in Illinois during the third quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis.
December 18, 2013 - Fewer residential building permits were issued in November than October, according to the latest count by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the rate at which permits have been issued this year is up by nearly 8 percent compared to 2012.
December 18, 2013 - America's tourism industry made gains over the summer months of 2013, but the rate of spending was not as high as it had been in the spring, according to a report from the U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis. Tourism prices during the same time period increased by more than 3.5 percent.
December 17, 2013 - The productivity rate of American workers outpaced the rate at which the number of hours worked increased in the third quarter of 2013, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics. However one exception is within the manufacturing industry where, despite a more than one percent increase in the number of hours worked, overall productivity was down slightly.
Similarly, a summary of after-tax profits during the third quarter showed mixed results. Manufacturers made more money when compared to last year's figures and receipts from the second quarter.
December 10, 2013 - Standard & Poor's has revised its outlook on Illinois's general obligation bonds from "Negative" to "Developing." The credit rating house said the revision was prompted after the Legislature and Governor approved a series of changes to public employee pension systems. The opinion also reaffirmed the state's A- rating.
December 10, 2013 - Wholesale trade increased by 6.4 percent in October compared to the same time a year ago, says the U.S. Census Bureau. These number may continue to increase as the Institute for Supply Management expects manufacturing revenue to grow by more than four percent in 2014.
December 10, 2013 - On the heels of the news that The Conference Board put its Employment Trends Index at more than five percent higher than it was a year ago in November, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics reported little change in the rate of job openings and turnover.
December 9, 2013 - The federal government spent $231 billion more than it collected in revenue in the opening months of fiscal year 2013, according to figures released by the Congressional Budget Office.
December 6, 2013 - Three of Illinois's metropolitan areas have seen unemployment rates increase by more than one percent in the last year, according to the latest figures from the state's Dept. of Employment Security. Danvile (+1.8%, 11.3%), Decatur (+1.6%, 11.7%), and Peoria (+1.1%, 8.7%) have been hit the hardest in the last year.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Chicago remained relatively unchanged (8.3 percent). However the number of nonfarm jobs reported was higher in October than it has been in years. Regional unemployment rates also went down in Bloomington-Normal, Champaign-Urbana, and Metro east St. Louis all reported lower rates than their summer highs.
December 6, 2013 - Continued economic growth that has boosted hiring within the private sector and employers bringing on seasonal employees gave the nation its lowest unemployment rate - 7.0 percent - in nearly five years in November, says the U.S. Dept. of Labor. This after the news that manufacturing orders and personal incomes were down in October.
December 5, 2013 - The national Gross Domestic Product increased another 3.9 percent in the third quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The growth follows up a 2.5 percent bump in the second quarter. This comes as many other indicators show strong economic growth.
All of the positive economic reports have also driven up fixed interest rates on 30-year mortgages, economists at lender Freddie Mac say.
December 5, 2013 - Despite reports of economic growth as of late, new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau put new orders for manufactured goods down two percent in October.
December 4, 2013 - Preliminary data on new homes sales show a record-setting 25 percent increase in the number of homes sold in the last month.
December 4, 2013 - Thanks to a healthy increase in exports, the U.S. trade deficit dropped by $2 billion in October, according to figures published by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
November 22, 2013 - Illinois's unemployment rate is back down below the nine percent threshold for the first time since December 2012, says the state Dept. of Employment Security. Preliminary figures released for September and October - a joint release prompted by the temporary partial federal government shutdown - puts the number of new nonfarm jobs up by nearly 26,000.
The number of unemployed persons stood at 579,400 in October. The Department says October was the third consecutive month that number has fallen but did not provide September data. There were reportedly more than 600,000 unemployed in August.
Meanwhile, the number of job openings and turnover throughout the country in September remained relatively unchanged, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics. Though nearly four million jobs remain vacant, the number of new hires and separations were virtually even.
November 21, 2013 - Retail and food service sales were relatively unchanged in October compared to September, but receipts have increased by at least more than three percent over the year. Meanwhile, manufacturing sales remained mostly stagnant, but there is some growth in receipts compared to figures from 2012.
November 21, 2013 - The continual drop in oil prices lead producer prices to drop for a second consecutive month, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics. That said, the cost of food was up in October by nearly one percent.
November 20, 2013 - Real hourly earnings, on average, are up slightly thanks to an increase in employee compensation and a decrease in the overall Consumer Price index. Though most CPI categories saw prices go up over the past year, continually falling transportation fuel costs, which have fallen particularly hard in the Midwest, offset those gains.
November 20, 2013 - A nearly two percent increase in employee compensation in all employment sectors caused employment costs to increase one half of one percent in September, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics.
November 15, 2013 - Sales receipts in September were up slighlty, says the U.S. Census Bureau.
November 15, 2013 - Farmland values are up throughout northern and central Illinois, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This comes at the same time the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics is reporting agriculutural export prices are six percent below last year's harvest time prices.
November 14, 2013 - Labor productivity increased by nearly two percent in the third quarter of 2013, says the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics.
November 14, 2013 - The U.S. trade deficit increased again in September, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This time the hike was a bit more pronounced than usual as imports outweighed exports by nearly $42 billion - an increase of $3 billion.
November 8, 2013 - The national unemployment rate moved to 7.3 percent in October as employers added 204,000 jobs, the U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics said. The totals included federal employees furloughed during the partial government shutdown. The number of unemployed persons remained at around 11.3 million.
November 7, 2013 - A letter from the Congressional Budget Office shows the non-partisan financial analysis branch of the Legislature's fiscal year 2013 tax revenue estimates were off by $39 billion.
November 7, 2013 - An increase in production and output led to the national Growth Domestic Product to increase by 2.5 percent in third quarter of 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau for Economic Analysis.
October 30, 2013 - Once again, prices proved to be below the national average in the Midwest, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the Consumer Price Index was mostly up acrossed the board, particularly in household energy and mortgage/rent costs, transportation and associated fuel prices dropped more than a half percent.
However CPI increases offset the slight increase in real earnings.
October 30, 2013 - Economic conditions have loosened in recent weeks, according to measurements taken by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
October 29, 2013 - Retail and food service receipts were up slightly in September, but automotive sales plunged at the same time, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
October 29, 2013 - Producer prices were down cumulatively in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average was dragged down by food production costs, but most other indices, including crude oil and energy, showed cost increases.
October 25, 2013 - New manufactured goods orders increased by nearly four percent in September, says the U.S. Census Bureau. September also marked the seventh in the last eight months that unfilled orders have increased.
October 24, 2013 - U.S. import prices were up slightly in September, but overall the index is down on the year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Just in time for the harvest season, agricultural export prices were also up slighty. However major losses in August have set the market to 2011 price levels. Similarly, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce said the trade deficit went up by $200 million in August.
October 23, 2013 - Spending on construction projects reached a nearly five-year high in August, says the U.S. Census Bureau.
October 23, 2013 - U.S. employers added 148,000 jobs to their payrolls in September, but nearly 11.3 million people remain unemployed, according to the Dept. of Labor. The nation's unemployment rate is now at 7.2 percent.
September 30, 2013 - The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago repo