Ill. and Mass. Are Only States to See Annual Average Unemployment Rates Rise in 2013
data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Both Illinois and Massachusetts are led by Democratic governors and their biggest cities, Chicago and Boston, are headed by Democratic mayors. The entire congressional delegation of Massachusetts -- two senators and nine representatives -- is Democrat.
In addition, both Illinois and Massachusetts are blue states that went for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
According to the BLS, “Annual average unemployment rates in 2013 declined in 43 states and the District of Columbia, rose in 2 states, and were unchanged in 5 states."
Illinois' annual average unemployment rate rose from 6.8% in 2012 to 7.1% in 2013 -- a 4.4% increase," said the BLS, while Massachusetts' annual average unemployment rate rose from 8.9% in 2012 to 9.2% in 2013 -- a 3.4% increase.
The five states that remained unchanged were Ohio (7.4 %), Kentucky (8.3%), Tennessee (8.2%), Arkansas (7.5%) and Oklahoma (5.4%). The rest of the states, including the District of Columbia, showed decreases in annual average unemployment rates for 2012-13.
Illinois and Massachusetts also had high “real unemployment rates.” Known as the U-6 rate, this measure combines those traditionally counted as unemployed, those counted as underemployed – holding part-time jobs for economic reasons -- and those marginally attached to the labor force.
The United States' average for “real unemployment” in 2013 was 13.8%. Illinois' real unemployment rate was 16% -- a 15.9% increase over the national average. Massachusetts' real unemployment rate for 2013 was 13.2%, just under the national average.
Illinois and Massachusetts also have high state corporate income tax rates, with Illinois’ tax rate at 9.5 percent and Massachusetts’ rate at 8.0 percent.