A lot of things have happened since 1998, but one thing has changed very little: the number of jobs in Illinois.
A new report during the week found that total nonfarm employment in Illinois is currently about 5.91 million – the same as it was in July 1998.
By comparison, Illinois’ neighbors have fared much better, even with smaller populations. Over the same time period, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Iowa gained 128,000 jobs, Indiana gained 150,000, and Wisconsin grew by more than 188,000 – all while Illinois remained flat.
In the past few months, Illinois’ economy has shown troubling signs of heading in the wrong direction. In the last month alone, Illinois lost nearly 7,000 jobs, including 1,800 manufacturing jobs. The state has lost manufacturing jobs in eight of nine months so far this year.
Sadly, the impact won’t take long to see.
According to the latest data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), on average, Illinois is losing one person and $50,000 of taxable income every seven minutes.
Republicans have long argued that a struggling economy leads to the loss of residents and businesses and therefore, loss in tax revenue – and only structural reform of the broken system is going to turn it around and help solve the state’s budget woes.