It’s not easy finding good news in the Heartland Alliance Report on Illinois Poverty, but there is some for Kane County and the local economy.
That’s not to say there aren’t significant issues with poverty in the state of Illinois or here in Kane County — or that there isn’t still significant progress that needs to be made. You can read a summary of the report’s key findings here.
Data is data, however, and some of the figures in the report are both interesting and positive news for Kane County residents, particularly if those figures are indicators of local economic trends. The data was culled from a variety of reliable sources, a big chunk of which came from the U.S. Census. It’s important to note that a lot of the data is from 2013, although some is from as recently as October.
Among those positives?
(1) Kane County’s high school graduation rate is up 2.2 percent, comparing 2013 statistics to those of 2012.
(2) The county’s unemployment rate is 5.2 percent — down 2.2 percent for the 12 months between October 2013 and October 2014. Kane County unemployment as of October is a full percentage point lower than the state overall.
(3) In fact, employment statistics provided in the report indicated a big win for Kane County. The number of unemployed individuals in Kane County was tallied at 14,418 as of October 2014. That’s a decrease of 31.2 percent. By way of comparison, the overall number of unemployed individuals was basically flat — down just 3/10ths of 1 percent — in the state as a whole. In terms of ranking, Kane County unemployment was 90th out of 102 counties, indicating that it was among the top performers in the state of Illinois.
(4) Kane County’s poverty rate is down 1 percentage point from 2012 to 2013, and it is 3.7 percent under the Illinois value.
(5) The county’s 2013 child poverty rate is down 1 percent. Kane County’s rate was 10.9 percent compared to a 14.6 value for the state.
Finally, Kane County is not on any of the watch or warning lists.
SOURCE: Poor by Comparison: Report on Illinois Poverty
|County Value||IL Value||County Change||IL Change|
|High School Graduation Rate, 2013-2014 academic year 1||86%||86%||2.2% pts2012-2013||3.7% pts2012-2013|
|Teen Births (live births per 1,000 women ages 15-19), 2010 2||31.3||30.4||2.3 pts2009||2.5 pts2009|
|Unemployment Rate, Oct 2014 3||5.2%||6.2%||-2.4% ptsOct 2013||-2.5% ptsOct 2013|
|Poverty Rate, 2013 4||10.9%||14.6%||-1% pts2012||-0.1% pts2012|