Skip to main content

Illinois Has Added Only One Job Every Two Months Over Last 17 Years

Illinois Has Added Only One Job Every Two Months Over Last 17 Years

IMA urges Springfield to “act now” citing horrendous job numbers

SPRINGFIELD – Since 2000, Illinois has only added one new job every two months, marking a 17-year drought compared to its neighboring Midwestern states, according to recent data published by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).  That fact is startling alone, but when you consider Illinois has lost more than 309,000 good, high-paying manufacturing jobs during the same time-period, it reinforces the need for Springfield to right its economic ship.

The manufacturing industry contributes the single largest share to Illinois’ GDP – 12.4 percent – and loses nearly a quarter of well-paying, middle class positions, it becomes apparent that an Illinois manufacturing and middle class jobs revival is long overdue. There’s an urgent need that exists in Springfield to improve Illinois’ manufacturing climate and to revitalize the middle class. That is why the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) is urging the governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to balance the state’s budget and enact real and meaningful economic development reforms.

The IMA is calling on legislators to adopt the “Middle Class Manufacturing Agenda” that includes:

  • Establishing fiscal stability and pension reform
  • Enacting tax reform that broadens the tax base and lowers rates
  • Passing economic development reforms, including changes to workers’ compensation
  • Reducing the high cost of property taxes
  • Strengthening the education and workforce development system

“These numbers are simply outrageous, period, end of story,” said Greg Baise, president and CEO, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “While other states in the Midwest are flourishing, adding jobs and investment, our state continues to be on an island of poor economic decisions, doubling-down on the failed policies of the past. The continued call to simply raise taxes without real budget reforms is how we got into this mess in the first place.”

According to IDES, there are 6,055,000 Illinoisans working today, which is an all-time high for jobs surpassing the previous high of 6,054,900 set in September 2000.  However, this fact is not reason to celebrate because it’s taken 17 years to get to that level while 400,000 more people reside in the state.


Midwestern State Comparison on 17-year Job Growth/Loss

State Sept 2000 Feb 2017 Increase / Decrease %
Illinois 6,054,900 6,055,000 100 0.00%
Indiana 3,003,200 3,113,800 110,600 3.68%
Iowa 1,480,700 1,580,400 99,700 6.73%
Missouri 2,746,100 2,880,500 134,400 4.89%
Wisconsin 2,834,500 2,950,800 116,300 4.10%