Prairie State Wire

Prairie State Wire

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

'No sign of improvement' seen in Illinois job numbers – and worse might be coming


By Glenn Minnis | Sep 25, 2017


There appears to be only bad news and worse news in Illinois' employment picture, according to WirePoints founder Mark Glennon.

“There’s no sign of improvement,” Glennon told the Prairie State Wire in the wake of an Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) report that pegged Illinois' recent job growth at half the neighboring states' average. “Illinois is lagging the country, and the concern is (that) as the federal government begins adjusting policy in recognition of full employment in other parts of the country that policy won’t be in sync with the things we desperately need here.”

Glennon called Illinois’ downward spiral a slow and painful process.

Wirepoints founder Mark Glennon

“We’ve been suffering from subpar job growth at least since the recession,” he said. "Besides that, we haven’t tackled pension or fiscal issues like we should, and legislative policy has been hostile to business.”

The IDES report reflects patterns from June 2016 to June 2017 and concludes that Illinois’ job growth stood at just 0.9 percent compared with a national average of 1.5 percent.

The Illinois Policy Institute has reported that the state owns the dubious distinction of having the worst personal income growth in the country spanning the era of the Great Recession.

Glennon laments that not much is likely to change in the near term.

“I don’t see anything short of wholesale legislative changes bringing about the kinds of changes we need,” he said. “And I’m not optimistic about that happening anytime soon.”

A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report also found Illinois lagging far behind national job growth.

Illinois’ non-farm jobs growth was a dismal 0.65 percent from July 2016 to July 2017, or less than half of the national average. Over that same period, neighboring states Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Missouri bested their larger Midwest neighbor in that metric.

Glennon said much of the difference can be attributed to the way manufacturing jobs continue to languish in Illinois.

The Illinois Policy Institute reported that over the last year, Illinois has added just 600 manufacturing jobs, or just a fraction of those jobs created in Wisconsin (9,900), Indiana (6,000), Missouri (5,800), Michigan (5,600) and Iowa (1,800).

“As long as the Legislature won’t allow (Gov. Bruce) Rauner and others to do something helpful to the state, it’ll just be more of the same,” Glennon said.  

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