For the first time in 7 years, Illinois ended the year with fewer jobs than it started out with. This creates an increased burden on existing tax payers to make up for the smaller tax base. The Illinois Department of Employment Security's most recent report shows that the state lost an astonishing 16,000 jobs in the month of December alone, bringing the unemployment rate up to 5.9%. With the ebb and flow of jobs throughout the year, Illinois finds itself 3,000 jobs shorter than it was at this time in 2015. Evelina Loescher, labor market information director for IDES, says that this means a smaller tax base.
"You know, you want to share that tax base among more people, so increasing jobs would definitely help that.
-Evelina Loescher, Illinois Department of Employment Security
Steve Rauschenberger, president of the Technology and Manufacturing Association, and a former state Senator, says the state doesn't only need business reforms, it needs patience.
"Even if there were quick reforms, it's going to take 3 to 5 years to start rebuilding the middle class producing jobs that we all want but don't have the public policy to support."
Steve Rauschenberger, Technology and Manufacturing Association
Rauschenberger also makes a point to touch on the fact that this new development for the state puts us behind many other states, and the country as a whole.
"I think the more troubling part is how we're underperforming the rest of the Midwest, and most of the nation."
-Steve Rauschenberger, Technology and Manufacturing Association
Rauschenberger and Loescher both agree that there are other factors in this decline, including a slowdown in the global economy.