Illinois’ jobs growth was worse than
every neighboring state, and half the neighboring state average from June 2016
to June 2017, according to a new report. Data released July 27 by the Illinois
Department of Employment Security, or IDES, reveals Illinois’ jobs growth from
June 2016 to June 2017 was 0.9 percent, compared with a national average of 1.5
The greater Chicago area fared far
better than the rest of Illinois with 1.2 percent jobs growth, but still lagged
behind the national average. The rest of the state saw just 0.2 percent jobs
The new IDES release also
contained data by metropolitan statistical area, or MSA. Of Illinois’ 14 MSAs,
eight saw jobs growth of less than 1 percent. Only five of Illinois’ MSAs saw
jobs growth higher than the national average: Springfield, Kankakee, Lake
County-Kenosha County, Bloomington and Carbondale-Marion.
The Decatur MSA experienced no jobs growth over the year. Rockford and Danville
each lost 200 jobs over the year, on net.
The IDES data underscore a lack of economic reforms in the budget passed by
state lawmakers earlier this month, which included the largest permanent income
tax hike in state history.
Take Decatur, for example. Moody’s Analytics revealed earlier this year that the
former manufacturing titan was one of four Illinois metro areas where the
recession recovery was at risk of “coming undone.” Researchers also included
Danville on that list.
Decatur residents are in dire need of healthier incomes. Even the hope of decent
jobs growth would be a vast improvement.
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Instead, the tax hike
will force the average Decatur resident to send $580 more each year
to state government, according to the Decatur Herald & Review.
That’s money that could have been spent locally at struggling small
businesses, put toward college savings or spent on household
essentials. Instead, it will vanish into Springfield’s sinkhole of
economy doesn’t just show itself in poor jobs numbers, but in
paychecks as well. The Land of Lincoln is home to the worst personal
income growth in the United States over the Great Recession era.
Illinois’ lawmakers have failed to pass the pro-growth reforms from
which neighboring states are reaping benefits.
Take property taxes, which are higher in Illinois than in every
state with no income tax at all.
Neighboring Wisconsin’s property taxes as a percentage of personal
income are the lowest the state’s seen since the end of World War
II. Illinois property taxes are nearly triple those in neighboring
But reforms to address the cost-drivers of Illinois property taxes
have been stonewalled in the General Assembly.
Illinois is also home to the costliest workers’ compensation system
in the region, yet serious efforts at reform have gone untouched by
And as neighboring states such as Missouri are on the path to income
tax cuts, Illinois lawmakers passed a 32 percent income tax
Until lawmakers get serious about economic growth, don’t expect
Illinois’ jobs trend to diverge from the weak path it’s been
treading for years.
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