Why is Illinois' Unemployment Among the Worst in the Nation?

Why has Illinois not recovered as well as other states since the recession ended five years ago?

According to data released for March 2014, Illinois' unemployment rate was 8.4 percent, which was the third-worst rate in the country. You can see a map of all 50 states' unemployment rates here.

Illinois lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of unemployment is nothing new...it has been that way since the recession. But why can't the Land of Lincoln catch up? Why does it have to be stuck in the pack at the back?

Crain's Chicago Business columnist Paul Merrion believes he has some answers to that question. Merrion writes:

Illinois’ stubbornly high unemployment is the result of several factors, including the severity of the state’s housing slump, which has badly hurt the construction industry. The decades-long decline in manufacturing has continued, while neighboring states like Indiana and Michigan have a larger share of the rapidly improving auto industry, the only part of the sector that is rebounding. Meanwhile, jobs in retailing and financial activities in Illinois also continued to decline here while the rest of the nation recovered.

We've got more of Merrion's thoughts, along with the possible future of the income tax hike in Illinois and what Chicago voters want instead of a property tax (hint: it affects commuters) in today's lowdown.

» This article appears on all Patch Chicago sites. The views expressed in this post are those of Reboot Illinois and do not reflect those of Patch or its editors.

Learn more and Sound Off here

Channing Grant May 13, 2014 at 09:42 PM
What about the vaginal probe? Taking away a womans right to privacy, a woman's right to birth control. Gop filibustering equal pay for women? Surpressing the vote? Just a few examples.
Sue May 13, 2014 at 10:50 PM
United Airlines has contributed to the high unemployment rate in Illinois. They have laid off thousands of employees.
Albert Gazalooch May 14, 2014 at 08:35 AM
What? Nobody's blames it on Walmart yet?
Dan Cox May 18, 2014 at 09:57 PM
Illinois only knows how to raise Taxes and fees... while other states lower their Taxes and lure our businesses away to their strate!
Bernard Johnson May 27, 2014 at 12:53 AM
The best legislature in Illinois is one that's not in session. If the Founding Fathers and drafters of the assorted state's constitutions failed in any respect the one THING they never envisioned was a professional politician! Whether on the federal, state, county, township or municipal level, government needs to be limited [not eliminated, but, limited]. This means term limits, to start with. The longer one is in office the more empire building that takes place and 'seniority' under the current system brings disproportionate 'clout.' Dynastic families in Illinois have wrecked havoc on the democratic process: the Daley's, Cullerton's, Madigan's, etc. Overlapping adminisrative entities in Illinois desperately need to be eliminated {water, sanitation, school-boards, etc}, Townships should be eliminated - they're antiquated concepts and have outgrown/outlasted any justification for their existence. Taxing-authorities must be shrunk! Illinois has the most taxing-authorities of any state in the Union - nearly 7,000; some states have under 100. In short, we've entirely too much government in Illinois. Volume certainly doesn't equate to quality and bigger - in this instance, isn't better! While we certainly need and want government, we also need and want far less of it, and what we do need is both efficiency and transparency. Consolidate government, abandon defined-benefit pension plans for public employees, streamline adminisration and taxing-authorities, and both impose term-limits and prohibit patronage. While we're at it, combine all public transportation in the state under one administrative entity and forget about both an airport in Peotone and/or the Illiana-highway. Only through profound shrinkage of what passes as 'government' in Illinois can we hope to avoid this state becoming one big Detroit. We need well educated and independent managers, along with a well educated civil service. Out with the hacks and in with the professional administrators. Also, shorten the legislative sessions. We might even make 'our' elected positions part-time. Say, while we're at it; how about making double and/or triple-dipping illegal and preclude those 'working' in elected office from having outside jobs at the same time? You know, folks like Mike Madigan - who acts not only as Speaker of the House in Illinois, but, has a profoundly lucrative law practice for real-estate tax appeals. I mean, what's up with that!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »