While Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton resist pro-jobs reforms in Springfield, Illinois’ economy continues to struggle statewide.
The latest figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) gives the economy a mixed review at best. Illinois’ jobless rate dropped for the third straight month, to 5.6 percent, but the state lost a net of 900 jobs compared to the previous month. Employment in Illinois has grown slightly so far this year, but at a rate of only 0.3 percent — half the average growth rate of the rest of the Midwest and worse than each of our neighboring states. If Illinois had simply kept pace, according to IDES, employers would have added an additional 34,000 jobs since the start of this year. The overall number of jobs in Illinois is still about 75,000 below our pre-recession peak.
Without the pro-jobs reforms that Republicans are pushing in the Capitol, Illinois can expect more of the same results and more families and businesses looking for an escape.