50th District Update: November 24
Slight Improvement in Jobs
A recent report by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) indicates a slight drop in the state’s unemployment from 5.0% to 4.9%. It’s not a huge change, but does represent an increase of 3,400 nonfarm payroll jobs. IDES adds that September job growth figures were revised upward showing a smaller decline in jobs, -7,900 rather than the -10,800 jobs initially reported.
While it’s obvious job growth is not what it should be, agency Director Jeff Mays pointed to important trend: “Illinois’ unemployment rate remained at 5.0 percent or lower for eight months – the last time that happened was in mid-2007,” said Mays.
There also were positive comments included in the IDES report by the Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). “The Department continues to see a steady flow of interest from businesses to relocate and grow in Illinois,” said Director Sean McCarthy. “With our world-class assets, Illinois should be leading the pack not lagging behind the national average. We’re seeing results and winning projects, but we still have work to do.”
Seat Belt Enforcement
The Thanksgiving Day holiday, Nov. 23, marks the start of the holiday season. Illinois’ two agencies that deal with traffic safety are encouraging and warning motorists to “click it or ticket.” Thousands of additional travelers will be on Illinois roads and highways over the next few weeks.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police are promoting the annual campaign to increase seat belt use. IDOT and ISP are partnering with more than 150 law enforcement agencies across the state to increase police patrols and checkpoints. The extra enforcement effort began Nov. 17 and continues through Nov. 27. According to IDOT, not wearing a seat belt drastically increases the occupant's risk of being injured or killed in the event of a crash.
Disability Parking Enforcement
The holiday season also brings out holiday shoppers and once again this year, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office announced it will conduct statewide parking “stings.” Secretary of State Police will target drivers who illegally park in spaces reserved for persons with disabilities. Penalties for parking in an accessible parking space without a disability placard or license plates include fines of up to $350. Drivers caught misusing a placard face driver’s license suspensions and fines of $600. Penalties increase for subsequent offenses.