The U of I's index to the state economy shows another month of slow improvement. The Flash Index measured at 99-point-2 in February, after a slight dip in January to 98-point-8. The Index is now showing its highest reading since November of 2008. But it needs to rise above 100 to reflect economic growth. University economist Fred Giertz says while the economy is improving, the rate of improvement is likely to be slowed by the unemployment rate, especially in Illinois. The latest figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show the January jobless rate dropping to 9-point-4 percent, compared to the nationwide rate of 8-point-3 percent. Giertz says the while the state figure is an improvement, it�s still higher than the national unemployment rate of 8-point-3 percent:
�That�s good news, but still in context of 9.4 is better than 9.7. But that�s still really high, both by historical standards and also compared to the U-S average. So it�s going to be a continued slog to get out of the recession.�
The Flash Index is based on weighted averages of corporate income, personal income and sales taxes in Illinois.
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