The youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year olds for April 2013 is 11.1 percent (NSA).
The effective unemployment rate is 16.1 percent, which adjusts for labor participation rate by including those who have given up looking for work. The declining labor force participation rate has created an additional 1.7 million young adults that are not counted as "unemployed" by the U.S. Department of Labor because they are not in the labor force, meaning that those young people have given up looking for work due to the lack of jobs.
The April 2013 youth unemployment rate for 18-29 year old African-Americans is 20.4 percent (NSA); for 18-29 year old Hispanics 12 percent (NSA); and for 18–29 year old women unemployment is 10 percent (NSA).
Evan Feinberg, President of Generation Opportunity and one of the first Millennials to run for Congress, issued the following statement:
“It is a rough time to be a young person in America. The effective youth unemployment rate is 16.1%, and with about 2 million college students graduating this month, there is no sign of an economic recovery for my generation. Half of all graduating seniors aren't going to find meaningful work in the coming months. And it isn't like politicians care -- they spent this week pushing an Internet sales tax which hits our generation hardest. Reckless policies coming from Washington continue to prevent the next generation from prospering.”
* * * *
Average retail gasoline prices in Illinois have risen 2.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $4.00/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 4,378 gas outlets in Illinois. This compares with the national average that has increased 6.2 cents per gallon in the last week to
$3.57/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Illinois during the past week, prices yesterday were 9.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 32.4 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has
increased 5.0 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 15.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"The national average has perked up again in the last seven days across the nation," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Many
motorists remain skeptical of the so called reasons that we blame higher prices on: refinery production and maintenance, tightening supply, and the now completed switch over to EPA mandated cleaner summer gasoline. Tight gasoline
supply exists especially along the West Coast, and other factors are coming into play in some of the bigger metro areas where more expensive reformulated gasoline has hit pumps.”
* * * *
South Franklin and South Main streets aren't the easier ways to get to and from downtown right now due to a lot of road construction work.
I just received a message that, starting on... well, here's the message: "Illinois Valley Paving will be working on Franklin Street, from Cleveland Avenue to Wood Street, performing road construction work consisting of milling and paving, beginning Tuesday, May 18, 2013, weather permitting. This work will cause traffic lanes to be closed starting on the west side and moving eastward on Franklin Street, from Cleveland Avenue to Wood Street, starting at 6:00 a.m., Tuesday, May 14, 2013, and continuing to approximately 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 28, 2013. Motorists should slow down, use extreme caution and be prepared for delays through the work zone."
So, make a mental note when you use those two arteries as to what lane you should place your car in so you can avoid trying to get a sad look on your face hoping someone will let you merge in the correct lane from the wrong lane. (Speaking from experience.)
* * * *
I can run but I can’t hide! Congressman Rodney Davis came to Suite 424 (my office) looking for me the other day and when I wasn’t there he found out that I had gone to the barber to get my ears lowered. (Younger readers probably don’t know what that means.) Davis and Congressional Office Manager Helen Albert tracked me to Mike Wilson’s shop where Mike and I were solving all of the world’s problems while he cut my hair. I always enjoy talking with Rodney (and Helen, too). We discussed what was going on in Washing-ton and our district and I didn’t hear anything I would considcr “hair raising”. Davis has been great about stopping by the Trib and keeping me informed. Of all the Congressmen who have served this district, I’ve seen him more than all the others combined and he’s only in his first year in office. Plus, he’s the first elected official to track me down at the barber shop!
* * *
Despite attempts to put the most optimistic spin on the employment picture in Decatur the announcement by Caterpillar on Friday that it will lay off 300 more employees at its Decatur plant is another low blow administered by a sagging global economy.
Friday's announced layoffs follow Caterpillar's decision last month to lay off 460 from the same plant. The plant employs 4,000 workers, so 20% of the workforce will be gone.
Decatur already has the highest unemployment rate in the state and, in a couple of months when the unemployment rate for our city is released that includes those workers, and others, it will not be recommended reading -- if you want to read something that makes you feel good.
* * * *
In last week's print edition of the Decatur Tribune, I pointed out in my column that I had purchased two industrial-size shop vacs at Farm & Fleet recently when I was arming myself to take on the water of the heavy rain in the lower level of our house several days ago. The people who spoke to me as I was checking out with those two big vacs probably thought I was preparing to single-handedly suck all of the water out of Lake Decatur!
When I got home and took one of the shop vacs out of the box and started to vacuum out the water I thought it was going to suck the carpet right up into the vac! It dislodged the edge of it from the floor and sucked it flat against the nozzle. Man, that was powerful! I accidentally pointed the nozzle at my foot one time and I thought it was going to suck my sock right out of my shoe!
I decided to return the second vac that was still in the box. I was afraid that if I left both of them alone in the lower level, they might gang up on me and give me (with apologies to McDonalds) a “Big Vac Attack”!
Believe me, one of those shop vacs could suck the money out of your pocket faster than the federal government.
You have been warned. Don't buy more of a shop vac than what you need.
* * * *
April 25th was Tax Freedom Day in Illinois. This day commemorated the point in this year when Illinoisans had earned enough money to pay their total tax bill for the year. You and I worked 115 days to pay “our fair share” of federal, state and local government. Considering the huge amount of government waste, that’s outrageous -- along with being a real incentive killer. Putting it in simple terms, this edition of the Decatur Tribune is the first one this year where the money I earn doesn’t go to pay taxes.
According to the Illinois Policy Institute Illinois was 5th latest in the nation -- meaning citizens of 45 other states carried less of a tax burden than those of us who live in Illinois.
* * * *
It was so nice to talk with Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider who stopped by my office to chat on a recent late afternoon. Bob was the state representative in our district during the years I served as mayor and beyond, so we had a lot of contact during that time and a lot of memories of that relationship to discuss. I can assure you, from first-hand experience working with Bob, he helped the City of Decatur in the state capitol by bringing a lot of good projects and funding that we needed.
* * * *
Congressman Aaron Schock has decided to run for re-election to Congress in 2014, instead of running for governor of Illinois.