Emanuel to city agencies: Up minimum wage to $13

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has asked the city's sister agencies to pay all contractor and subcontractor employees a minimum wage of $13 an hour.

Area jobless rates plummet

CHAMPAIGN — Unemployment rates in East Central Illinois were sharply lower in August than they were a year earlier, the state Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

Champaign County's unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, down from 8.9 percent in August 2013, while Vermilion County's rate was 9.7 percent, down from 12.2 percent a year earlier.

Illinois jobless rate continues 6-month decline

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois unemployment fell in August to 6.7 percent, the sixth straight monthly decrease in the state's jobless rate, according to figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Slowdown leads to job cuts at Frasca International

URBANA — Frasca International has trimmed about 14 positions in the last month, largely as a result of a slowdown in orders, company President John Frasca said.

The Urbana-based company, which still employs more than 180, makes flight simulators used to teach pilots how to fly single-engine aircraft, commercial aircraft, passenger airplanes, military training aircraft and helicopters.

Quick Read: Job vacancies likely to stack up in library science

This month The Conference Board came out with a report outlining occupations most at risk of labor shortage in the next decade.

"Librarians, curators and archivists" was third on the list, behind "water transportation workers" and "plant and system operators."

John Roska: New law bans criminal box on job applications

Q: How does the new law on criminal records and job applications work? Does it make it illegal for employers to refuse to hire you because of a criminal record?

Updated: Quinn campaigns for minimum-wage ballot question

CHAMPAIGN — Gov. Pat Quinn said his breakfast usually is a banana and maybe a bowl of oatmeal at Dunkin Donuts.

On Wednesday morning he had hot water and a bowl of grits at Sam's Cafe in downtown Champaign. His bill was $2. He left a 50-cent tip.

Tom Kacich: Developer's self-preservation saves mural

Few people today think of Champaign as a factory town. But it once was, with manufacturing plants making, among other things, clocks, automobile repair kits, gloves and undergarments.

Quick Read: Champaign, Danville areas rank high in job opportunities

For the third time in the last four quarters, the Champaign metropolitan area has landed on Beyond.com's list of the top 10 areas in the nation with the most job opportunities per capita — and Danville made the top 10 too.

New path to a degree on the table

CHAMPAIGN — At a community college, you can finish work on a high school diploma, earn a certificate in anything from software to automotive technology, get your associate's degree, brush up on a foreign language or try flower-arranging.

In the future, you might also be able to earn a bachelor's degree at an Illinois community college.