Illinois job numbers reflect concerning trends
Troubling data surfaced last week as a report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that employment opportunities in Illinois are at the same level as they were over 17 years ago.
The report showed that total non-farming jobs in the state are at about 5.91 million. This is the same number that a similar report indicated in July 1998.
Over the same period, neighboring states have shown significant growth in this area – a fact that causes additional concerns. Iowa jobs increased by 128,000, while Indiana gained 150,000 jobs and Wisconsin's labor market grew by nearly 190,000 positions.
Even more troubling, the most recent reviews of Illinois’ economy show signs of a state heading in the wrong direction. The state lost nearly 7,000 jobs, including 1,800 in the manufacturing sector, in the past 30 days. Illinois has shown a reduction in manufacturing jobs in eight of the previous nine months.
According to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service, Illinois loses one worker and up to $50,000 of taxable income every seven minutes. The consensus is that a struggling economy leads to the departure of residents as well as businesses, resulting in a loss of tax revenue by default.
Leaders urge a culture change resulting in structural reform of the broken system to reverse the trend and help solve the state’s budget woes.