In a recent op-ed, former Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Doug Whitley paints a sobering picture of Illinois’ current economic outlook. Whitley noted that the state had a net population loss of 786,638 people between 2000 and 2013, and that the 2015 census showed Chicago had the 6th greatest population outflow among US metropolitan areas.
He pointed to that population loss as having a direct economic bearing on sales, construction, and tax revenue, while leaving fewer workers to assume the burden of the increasing cost of state government.
However, Whitley argued the potential is there for a strong turnaround, noting the state’s transportation advantages, successful businesses, economic opportunities, attractive quality of life, and having a world class city in Chicago. He pointed to the Chamber’s annual Foundation Report as an accurate snapshot of Illinois’ current climate, while laying out a roadmap and measuring stick for future success.
Whitley says a successful turnaround must focus on improving eight economic indicators, including Gross State Product, non-farm employment, median household income, the percentage of personal income allocated to state and local taxes, unemployment, private sector job growth, per capita personal income, and the percentage of persons living in poverty.
Read his op-ed here.