Senate Republicans continue to push for much-needed reforms in
Springfield, especially those that would improve Illinois’s struggling economy.
According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security,
Illinois lost nearly 7,000 jobs in the month of September, the fourth straight
month of statewide job losses.
At this rate, Illinois will not fully recover from the recession
until April 2017 – a year and a half from now – while our neighboring states
have already surpassed their pre-recession jobs totals.
Compared to the pre-recession peak for employment, jobs nationwide
are up 2.9 percent, but Illinois is still more than 3 percent below its peak.
In downgrading the state’s credit this week, Fitch
specifically cited Illinois’ lagging economic performance:
growth has been well below the national average through the recovery/expansion
period and has weakened relative to the U.S. in recent months. Non-farm
employment grew at just a 0.5% year-over-year rate in August 2015. Through
August 2015, the state has recovered only 71% of jobs lost in the downturn,
among the weakest of the states at less than half the national recovery rate.
Both GDP and personal income declined at a steeper rate in Illinois during the
recession and have been increasing at a slower rate during the expansion.”
Senate Republicans, these aren’t just abstract numbers. These numbers represent people
trying to find work, families struggling to make ends meet, and businesses coming
to the conclusion that Illinois is not a place to grow.