Unemployment rate holds at 5.5%
The September jobs report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) found a net creation of 7,400 new Illinois payroll jobs for the month. In what is becoming a trend in Illinois, new job creation appeared to be mainly in the services sector. There were a total of 7,800 net new jobs created in professional, business, education, health, and other services sectors. In the manufacturing sector, Illinois lost a net of 800 jobs.

Illinois moves closer to REAL ID compliance
Illinois is among more than a dozen states considered out of compliance with the 2005 federal law requiring a state ID card (such as a driver’s license) to be seen as adequate identification for federal security purposes, such as entering a military base or boarding an airplane. Under the federal law, an applicant for a drivers’ license is required to present documentation to verify their legal status in the U.S. In addition, the license must be produced in a secure facility and comply with federal rules meant to reduce or eliminate counterfeiting.

Report indicates tax revenues on the decline
The latest monthly revenue report issued by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), the General Assembly’s nonpartisan budget watchdog office, indicated that tax revenue to the state declined in September. Revenue to the state’s general funds was down by $119 million below the levels received during the same month last year. The decline was attributable to changes in income tax cash flows, as personal income tax receipts were down $136 million and corporate income tax receipts came in $87 million lower. The drop in corporate income tax revenue amounts to a decline of 22% from a year ago.

Moody’s grades U of I credit among the best in Illinois
As the state continues to grapple with low credit ratings, there was some good news for one state institution. In its September report on the University of Illinois’ revenue stream, Moody’s Investors Services granted the school a sharply higher grade than many of Illinois’ public universities. The credit rating agency took note of recent state budget cuts to the university, but commended the three-campus institution for its underlying liquidity and diverse revenue streams. The university is less dependent on state tax funding because of these cash flows.