Macomb Local News
While local Government is assessing the State of the State, many other organizations are also looking in to the current state of affairs in Illinois' economy. The nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development shows that the makeup of the state's economy is a very mixed bag. The group's Kasey Wiedrich says that Illinois' ranking is right around the middle of all U.S. states, coming in at 29th economically. Wiedrich puts the weight of this ranking on the fact that about one in four Illinois residents are stuck in low-wage jobs, and she says the state could do more to help. 
 
"Raising the state minimum wage, implementing paid sick leave for workers - give a greater return from the hard work that people are doing, and more flexibility."
-Kasey Wiedrich, Corporation for Enterprise Development
 
According to data collected in the "Assets and Opportunity Scorecard," almost 40% of state households live in what it calls "liquid-asset poverty," meaning that they don't have a sufficient emergency savings fund. On the opposite side of the scorecard, Illinois did score high marks for expanding health care coverage, regulating home mortgages, foreclosures, and direct lending programs. The report does show some troubling numbers in that sector as well, though, showing that white-owned business are valued at almost 10 times that of businesses owned by African-Americans. Wiedrich says that this data mimics that of the country's as a whole, including the fact that the unemployment rate for black Americans is two points higher than all other workers. 
 
"These disparate outcomes don't only speak to sort of the history of exclusion form the financial mainstream, and discrimination that households of color have faced, but also speaks to future opportunities."
-Kasey Wiedrich, Corporation for Enterprise Development