There are three states tied for the highest unemployment rate in the country: Nevada, Mississippi, and California. Doing better by one-tenth of one percent is Illinois.
Edward Boss, who's chief economist for the budget forecasting arm of the Illinois General Assembly, says there are similarities between Illinois and California.
"They both raised taxes, they both are in very poor fiscal positions with accumulated debt" Boss said.
He also says Illinois is hurting more because the housing revival seen elsewhere in the country has not come to Illinois.
Asked what might turn things around, Boss pointed to the controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing. He says in states where fracking has taken off, unemployment rates "just about disappeared."
"North Dakota: 3.3 percent unemployment. South Dakota: 4.4. They're about the lowest in the nation" Boss noted.
Boss says with good schools, good transportation, and above average wealth and income, Illinois still has a lot of potential in the long run. But he doesn't see any quick solutions.