* From a press release…
Bruce Rauner today issued the following statement in response to new data showing Illinois leads the Midwest in job losses this year while thousands of Illinoisans have left the workforce.
“Illinois should be home to a vibrant workforce with a booming economy but thanks to Pat Quinn we are still leading the Midwest in job losses. With higher taxes and fewer jobs, Illinois isn’t working under Pat Quinn.”
According to the BLS data, Illinois has lost 4,200 jobs since the beginning of the year while its neighbors have made large gains: Indiana has gained more than 26,000 jobs, Wisconsin has gained nearly 11,000 jobs, Missouri has gained more than 31,000 jobs and Iowa has gained 6,000 jobs.
Additionally, the data shows more than twice as many people have left the Illinois workforce than have gained jobs over Pat Quinn’s time in office. As media noted today, while the unemployment rate has declined, “BLS numbers show much of that is due to people leaving the workforce.”
That’s certainly one way to spin it and it’s valid.
* But the BLS data also show some fairly strong gains over the past three months. Illinois has added almost 18,000 jobs since the end of April.
We need more. Lots and lots more. But the recent three-month trend ain’t horrible.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Quinn campaign response…
As Governor Quinn today announced 500 good-paying jobs by an Illinois company, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner and one of his top allies - which he has personally funded the tune of $525,000 - attacked the Illinois economy and rooted for Illinois to fail even as Illinois’ unemployment rate went down to its lowest point since August 2008. It makes sense that Bruce Rauner is desperately trying to undermine any positive economic news for our state because it’s undermining the very basis for his bash-Illinois campaign. The Illinois Policy Institute, which agrees with Mr. Rauner’s position to cut the minimum wage, and Rauner are working feverishly to spread their message of doom and gloom even as the economic outlook in Illinois has significantly improved.
Below is a quick fact check on Rauner’s claims:
Rauner Falsehood: Illinois is in an economic death spiral.
Fact: Just last week, unemployment fell to 6.8%, its lowest point since August 2008 and significantly lower than when Governor Quinn took office. This is the steepest 12-month unemployment decline in the last three decades.
Rauner Falsehood: Illinois leads the Midwest in job losses this year.
Fact: The arbitrary seven-month timeframe is cherry picked by those rooting for the state to fail. A full year period tells a much more accurate and honest story. Over the past 12 months, the state has created 30,500 jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.2 to 6.8—the largest decrease in three decades, and 127,000 more people are working. Further, Illinois saw net job creation last month, with 11,200 private sector jobs created, and a net job creation of 10,300 jobs because of government job loss. Yet left unsaid by Bruce Rauner is that he has proposed a Tax Plan that would slash the budget by EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS which would lead to mass layoffs of state employees and drive the unemployment rate sky high.
Rauner Falsehood: With higher taxes and fewer jobs, Illinois isn’t working under Pat Quinn.
Fact: Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, Illinois is making a comeback. While there’s more work to do, unemployment is significantly lower than when Quinn took office. According to a new study on businesses, Illinois’ overall tax burden ranks lower than about half the country - read about the study here.
Republican False Claim: Unemployment isn’t really going down - people are just leaving the workforce.
Fact: In fact, Illinois had a net gain of 11,200 private sector jobs last month. We have 127,000 more people working today than compared to last year.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The Rauner campaign responds…
17,157 Illinoisans Exited The Workforce In July, The Third-Largest Drop In Labor Force Participation Since At Least 2004. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)
21,637 Illinoisans Exited The Workforce In June, The Largest Drop In Labor Force Participation Since At Least 2004. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)
Illinois’ Labor Force Has Been Dropping Every Month Since April, For A Cumulative Total Of 63,083 People Who Stopped Looking For Work. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 8/18/14)