Government revenue estimates indicate continued slow economic recovery in Illinois
ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK
The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) says Illinois’ economic activity will continue to under-perform the region and the country.
COGFA says Illinois’ unemployment rate, which in December was 5.6 percent, continues to be not just higher than the national average of 4.5 percent, but higher than the regional average, too.
COGFA Chief Economist Ed Boss said that while there were some gains five years ago, outside of Chicago, manufacturing jobs in the state are a big loser.
“Some of the jobs that had been created in the early part of this economic expansion are now being taken away,” he said.
Following the end of the great recession in 2009, Boss said Illinois continues to experience the slowest economic recovery since World War II.
Meanwhile, COGFA revised the revenue estimates down $674 million, driven by a decrease in the amount of business activity and collected corporate income taxes.
Boss said this indicates Illinois is in a mild recession, and the future is uncertain.
State Rep. Reginald Phillips, R-Charleston, said Democrats can’t blame all the decreased revenue on the partial income tax decrease from over a year ago. He says businesses are leaving the state.
“I know several now that have left and gone to Florida, they’ve gone to Tennessee. You’re at the beginning of this iceberg that is really gonna knock your Titanic down.”
Boss said another major COGFA finding is the continued exodus of citizens from the Land of Lincoln. “We’ve been contracting population in Illinois 2014, 2015, 2016 and expect 2017.”
Phillips said it’s crucial the state enact reforms being pushed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and Republicans to grow the economy. If not, “Illinois is gonna really see some draining all right. But it ain’t the swamp: It’s people draining out of this state.”