For months, House Speaker Michael Madigan has repeatedly claimed that the “number-one problem facing Illinois is the budget deficit.” But the rest of Illinois – outside of state government – is suffering as well after 12 years of Democrat control. New figures in the past month show an economy struggling to get back on its feet, even as Democrats in the Legislature fight tooth-and-nail against pro-jobs reforms.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois has lost 7,300 manufacturing jobs so far this year, compared to gains in competing Midwestern states Indiana (+6,700 jobs) and Michigan (+12,800).
The most recent month also showed an overall jobs decline of 7,500 jobs statewide, according to the Illinois Department of Economic Security (IDES), with job growth “still slow downstate.” According to IDES Director Jeff Mays, “the need for a full statewide recovery remains.” Disturbingly, that statewide loss was the biggest month-to-month loss of any state in the country.
And according to the state’s economic experts, the nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), Illinois’ labor force, total exports, and new car/truck registrations are all down from a year ago.
Illinois needs an honest focus on the people and the regions that are truly struggling, not just the budget's bottom line.