Illinois' stagnant job market falls behind neighboring states
A recent report from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics shows job opportunities in Illinois are about the same as they were 17 years ago, indicating a sputtering job market.
Non-farm jobs are at about 5.91 million, the same number reported in similar data released in July 1998.
On the contrary, neighboring states are reporting employment growth during the same 17-year period. Wisconsin jobs increased by approximately 190,000 positions, Indiana added 150,000 jobs and Iowa gained 128,000.
In the past 30 days, the state has lost 7,000 jobs, including 1,800 manufacturing jobs. In eight out of the past nine months, the state has lost manufacturing jobs.
As the labor market continues to decline, residents and businesses have been leaving the state resulting in a loss of tax revenue. The Internal Revenue Service said Illinois is losing one worker and up to $50,000 in taxable income every seven minutes, based on the latest data.
“It’s time to do things differently,” Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Dist. 41), told the DuPage Policy Journal. “Gov. (Bruce) Rauner has laid an agenda that includes economic development reforms to make Illinois competitive.”
One suggested reform in Rauner’s agenda involves the state's workers’ compensation system.
“We need to ensure injured workers are cared for, but also need to make sure our system is competitive with other states,” Schuh said. “We need to build a better jobs climate.”