The bi-partisan Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability issued a report this month that does not predict a thriving economic future for Illinois.
I reprint parts of it for your consideration.
ECONOMY: Illinois in Perspective
Edward H. Boss, Jr., Chief Economist
Illinois’ economy continues to lag the nation as well as surrounding states even as the current economic recovery, while comparatively long in historical terms, remains the weakest in the post WWII period.
From 2010, following the start of the recovery in mid-2009 through 2016, inflation adjusted GDP in the United States averaged 2%.
The pace of growth was below that of 2.4% on average in the years from 2001 to 2007, which included 3.8% growth in 2004 and 3.3% in 2005.
This in turn was well below the average growth rate of 3.87% from 1992 to 2000, with growth in a rage of 4.1% to 4.7% each year from 1997 to 2000.
The latest Illinois forecast by IHS Markit was done in early October and is located [below]:
The table shows Real Gross State Product remaining in the 1.0% area each year from 2015 through 2017, before rising at an average growth rate of 1.7% in the years 2018 – 2020.
One of the more notable aspects of Illinois’ economy in recent years has been the recurrent outflow of people from the state.
As shown in the table, Illinois’ population continues to decline and at best is forecast to hold steady by 2019 and 2020.
Total employment in Illinois thus indicates little in the form of growth, rising 1% or less during the forecast years.
As a result of such weakness, Illinois’ unemployment rate is anticipated to continue higher than in most states as its pace of improvement is projected to lag that of the nation as a whole as well as that of the Midwest.
In September the national unemployment rate was 4.2% with the 12 states comprising the Midwest at the same 4.2% rate.
However, unemployment rates differed greatly among the 12 Midwest states.
The highest rates in the Midwest in September were Ohio, which had an unemployment rate of 5.3%, followed by Illinois, which had the second highest rate at 5.0%, and Michigan at 4.3%.
The lowest rates in the Midwest were North Dakota and Nebraska with rates of 2.4% and 2.8% respectively.
Iowa’s rate was 3.2% followed by South Dakota at 3.4%; 3.5% in Wisconsin, 3.7% in Minnesota, and 3.8% in Missouri, Indiana, and Kansas.
What Illinois needs to break out from the recent pattern of shrinking population and slow job growth is an influx of new and higher paying jobs.
However, September’s nonfarm payroll jobs fell by 10,800 from the previous month and are only 3,700 morethan a year earlier.
Even while key manufacturing jobs rose by 1,100 last month, they are 2,600 below the level of a year earlier, reversing gains seen from a low in 2011 through 2016.
And, while manufacturing in the State is some-what less of an overall factor than others in the Midwest, once considered the Rust Belt, several have benefited from the surge in new drilling technologies and the move toward energy independence.
Many states are seeking new job opportunities and are competing vigorously for companies to locate within their borders.
Recent attention centers on Amazon that is looking to build a second headquarters site with prospects for the creation of 50,000 high-paying jobs.
Chicago and Illinois have submitted several proposals, as have others.
The determination may well depend on the benefits offered as well as the perception of being in a business-friendly environment.
The technology giant Foxconn also had been looking for a major expansion but in the end chose Wisconsin.
Toyota and Mazda also were looking for a possible site for a new auto factory with as many as 4,000 jobs.
Recently, however, it has been reported that Illinois was informed that it was no longer being looked at as the site for any such plant.