Tag Archives: jobs

Illinois Did Not Make The Top 25 List of Best Business Climates

Three main issues dominate congressional races in Illinois: jobs, jobs and jobs. Whether you’re a job-seeker or a business owner, this should come as no surprise. The state last week didn’t even make the Top 25 of a corporate journal’s list of the nation’s best business climates. All Illinois’ neighboring states except Missouri made the cut — as did fellow Midwest states Michigan and Ohio (rated second best in the nation).

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Chicago Tribune Columnist John Kass Has Plenty To Say About William Cellini

Chicago Tribune columnists John Kass has long been one of the harshest and most vocal critics of longtime Illinois power broker William Cellini. Kass believes Cellini was one of the powerful players who ran a political “combine” in Illinois in which Republicans like Cellini and their Democratic counterparts split up the spoils of jobs and lucrative state contracts.

 

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Public Employees in Chicago on Disability Leave

There are probably a lot of frayed nerves today among certain public employees in Chicago who are on disability leave. For weeks, the Sun-Times has been exposing what appear to be flagrant abuses of the workers compensation system by police and firefighters who claim inability to work due to on-the-job injuries, then embark on second careers and amazing adventures. Apparently the feds read those stories.

Emanuel and the new Teachers Contract

Mayor Emanuel could go a long way toward paying for the new teachers contract — without closing schools, raising class size or laying off teachers — by reversing financial maneuvers he ordered last year to prop up the city budget, according to the Sun-Times. Emanuel stripped teachers of a previously negotiated, 4 percent pay raise and used the $80 million in savings to pay the Chicago Police Department retroactively, going back to 2009. The question now is whether Emanuel is willing to reverse that maneuver to help defray the $295 million, four-year cost of the new teachers contract and ease pressure on a school system that has drained every penny of its reserves and faces a $1 billion shortfall next year.

Jobs and Businesses

New U.S. census data shows that 150,000 more Illinoisans were living in poverty in 2011 than in 2010. The Chicago Tribune reports: “ ‘The low-paying sectors are growing,’ while higher-paying industries continue to shed jobs, said Sheldon Danzinger, a University of Michigan economist who has written extensively about poverty trends. ‘Service, retail, food. They don’t pay very high wages. That’s a reason why a lot of working people are getting food stamps.’ http://trib.in/UrxB37

Illinois Business Goes to Iowa

Reboot Our Government – If anyone in Chicago or Springfield still denies that this state’s sorry record of corruption and taxpayer debt is costing Illinois excellent jobs, take it from billionaire Nassef Sawiris. As head of the global firm Orascom Construction Industries, he set out to build a giant new plant to make fertilizer from natural gas in America’s heartland. He ultimately chose Iowa for the project instead of Illinois. Why? Because the promised benefits “are not sustainable in our view given the balance sheet of the state of Illinois.”

The Tribune concludes that Illinois suffers because of its chronically failed political leadership. That’s a self-inflicted wound that Illinoisans — as citizens, as taxpayers, as voters — can heal. Until it makes the obvious, essential changes, Illinois never will regain its dominance in the increasingly grueling race for jobs and prosperity.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

During Gov. Quinn’s DNC address, he invoked John Adams’ famous line, “facts are stubborn things.” If Quinn wants to talk about the facts, then let’s talk about the facts.

 Illinois’ State debt:

•Illinois’ total state debt is $271 billion.

•Illinois’ state debt per resident is $21,000.

•Illinois has roughly $8.5 billion in unpaid bills.

 Illinois’ economic performance:

•39 states have a lower unemployment rate than Illinois.

•It will take 43 months for Illinois’ unemployment rate to recover to its pre-recession low, given the current pace of job creation and assuming no growth in the labor force.

•Unemployment in Chicago is stalled at 10.5%

•Illinois is 48th in job growth.

•Illinois is 48th in economic outlook.

•Illinois is 48th in economic performance.

•Chicago is tied with Detroit for the worst entrepreneurship rate among the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the country.

•Illinois has had 12 credit downgrades since 2008.

•Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation.

Illinois’ pensions:

•Illinois has the worst funded pension in nation.

•Illinois’ pension inaction costs the state $18 million per day.

•Illinois pension funds need 19% annual investment returns in order to pay for the promised benefits.

 

John Adams was right, facts are stubborn.

For more Quinn facts, visit http://quinnfacts.com

Democrats and Republicans and JOBS.

Whether Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, jobs has remained a key issue for many voters over the past two elections. With an Illinois unemployment rate hovering above 9% throughout much of that time, it is perhaps unusual to hear that employers have been in need of more workers.

According to a June analysis by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3.8 million job openings by the end of that month.

Experts and politicians alike believe one of the key reasons so many are still out of work is because many companies are unable to find workers with the necessary skills needed to fill in-demand positions. In response, both federal and local governments have called for initiatives to specifically focus on training or re-training job seekers with the skills most sought by employers.

Rebooting Jobs

Reboot Our Jobs – A just-released report from the Brookings Institution rated Chicago and other cities by how well job openings line up with workers’ education. Like most big cities, Chicago has a larger share of available jobs that require higher education — a bachelor’s degree or more — than job seekers who hold those degrees.

There are 3.5 job openings in Chicago for every unemployed worker with a bachelor’s degree or higher. But there’s only 0.9 jobs for each worker who has no more than a high school diploma.

To attract growing industries and create jobs, Chicago needs to innovate in education. That’s why the Chicago Tribune has backed Chicago Public Schools officials in their plans to improve schools by obliterating the status quo. Teachers need to be evaluated based on how well they boost student achievement. Principals should be accountable for holding on to the best teachers.


Reboot our Pensions

The longer this state’s leaders skirt pension reform, the likelier the rest of us are to be stuck forever with the allegedly temporary income tax hike that’s scheduled to expire after 2014. This linkage — their pension fiasco, your income tax — is of grave import in this election season. As you make your choices in legislative races, we urge you to press every candidate on whether he or she will, or won’t, vote to extend the increases enacted last year: 67% on individuals, 46% on employers.

Take as a “yes” any vague answer like: We’ll have to see where we are two years from now. So many candidates this year are hiding behind that evasive line, speaking nearly identical phrases that sound like predigested talking points from their campaign advisers. Remind the candidates that a tax hike sold to Illinoisans as temporary needs to be…temporary.

 

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