Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) continues 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:
“Employment 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.”
According to Sen. Brady, 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.