According to our friends at Progress Illinois, a surge in underemployment in Illinois has kept the the Prairie State higher than the national average for seven of the last eight calendar years.

Underemployment figures in Illinois for the year 2007 were at 8.6%, while the national average was 8.1%, according to figures released by the Economic Policy Institute.

According to the EIP:

At 11%, the underemployment rate in September was at its highest in more than 14 years. The underemployed currently includes about 9.5 million unemployed workers, 6.1 million involuntarily part-time workers, and 1.6 million workers only marginally attached to the workforce.1 The fact that one out of every nine U.S. workers is now either unemployed or underemployed is clear evidence of the need for a second stimulus package targeted at job creation.

Illinois was only better than the national average in 2006, when the nation saw an 8.2% underemployment rate and Illinois sat at 8.1%.

Now, indeed, might be a good time for a second stimulus package.