Lessons from Illinois, Part 1: Turmoil, uncertainty for Illinois jobs

This week, Suburban Chicago-based Hoist Liftruck, a forklift manufacturer, announced that it would be taking 300 jobs out of Illinois and into neighboring Indiana.

According to the head of the company, “the environment [in Illinois] isn’t friendly for what I do.” The move is expected to save the company $1 million per year in workers’ compensation costs – a major jobs issue that Senate Republicans have been fighting to reform for months.  

In related economic news this week:

Motorola announced it would cut about 25 percent of its Chicago workforce, a loss of about 2,000 jobs.
Kraft Heinz announced it would be cutting 700 jobs at its Northfield headquarters – more than one-third of its Northfield employees.

Amid the gloom, the Joliet area got a bit of good news: e-retailer Amazon announced it would be bringing 1,000 full-time jobs to the area with a major distribution warehouse “fulfillment center.”

Illinois is still struggling to recover from the recession, and has lost more than 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last decade. It is unfortunate that Republican efforts to pass major pro-jobs reforms this session have been stymied by the Democrats in control of the Legislature. And the ongoing stalemate over the state budget has further contributed to Illinois’ economic uncertainty.

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