"We've lost 100,000 jobs in the last few months," said Illinois
House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, at an event in Chicago
last week in response to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's claims that
Illinois' economy is rebounding.
Cross said tax hikes are to blame for driving away businesses and
jobs. In January, Illinois raised its corporate tax rate by 45
percent, from 4.8 percent to 7 percent, and its personal income tax
rate by 67 percent, from 3 percent to 5 percent.
But the Illinois Department of Economic Security said Illinois lost
only 10,200 jobs between June and August. In fact, according to
IDES, the state has netted a total of 36,000 jobs since January.
Sara Wojcicki, spokeswoman for Cross, said the House Republican
leader was using statistics from the Illinois Policy Institute, a
free market think tank. IPI's statistics are based on a report by
the U.S. Department of Labor showing the number of employed in
Illinois has dropped by nearly 100,000 since January.
Comparing the number of unemployed with the number of jobs in the
state is like comparing apples and oranges, said Greg Rivera, IDES
"To try to use the number of people working and equate it to the
number of jobs, they're not the same thing. It's not the same
measurement," he said.
Rivera said that attempting to divine the state's economic future,
good or bad, based on monthly fluctuations in data can be
"Monthly snapshots help feed our need for immediacy, but they don't
do a good job at telling us where our economy is going," he said.
In fact, between August 2010 and the same month this year, Illinois
added 42,400 jobs, according to IDES reports. September numbers
won't be available until later this month.
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Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at IPI, said the institute's
statistic about the number of unemployed shouldn't be confused for
job losses in the state, but the numbers are still worrying.
"The number of unemployed has gone up relative to the number of
jobs. ... There are 100,000 fewer people that are employed in the
state of Illinois than in January. The question is, what are these
people doing? Are they leaving the state? What are they doing?"
Quinn insists he is working to foster job creation.
"We have to work with all of our businesses, large and small, on
things like workers' compensation insurance reform, which we passed
this year, exporting, which we've talked about recently. ... It's a
never-ending battle" to add jobs, Quinn said after an unrelated
event Tuesday in Chicago.
Statehouse News; By ANDREW THOMASON]