Illinois Employment & Education

Unemployment is down from 2005’s rate of 5.7%. So far, the rate this year is at 4.7%. Earnings are up 2% from last year. In 2003 and 2004, there were 35,000 new jobs created in the state. Illinois is a huge shipping and receiving destination for both air and land travel. The diverse economy in Illinois is bolstered by agriculture, industrial outputs, petroleum, coal and of course, transportation equipment. Many factories are also located in Chicago. The world's largest cookie and cracker factory, Nabisco, makes more than 16 billion Oreo cookies each year.

Graduation in 1990 was at 76.2% and has risen to 81.4% in 2000. The state has 4,403 schools and spends $8,675 a year on each student’s education. NAEP test scores show that most students have stayed the same and haven’t gone up much in Math and Reading tests (only rising 0-2% from 2004 to 2005). Science scores have actually gone done 1-2% lower in both 4th and 8th grades.