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Less like this, please

Monday, Jun 29, 2015

* The liberal Illinois Economic Policy Institute fact checks some of the Illinois Policy Institute’s recent claims. The most notable

Claim: “Illinois ranked 42nd nationally for wage growth, well behind all neighboring states.”

Verdict: False

This one is not even close. Figure 4 presents BLS information on average hourly earnings for private sector employees by state from January 2014 through May 2015, the latest month for which data is available. Over the previous 17 months, worker wages have increased from $25.05 per hour to $25.77 per hour in Illinois. This equates to a growth of 72 cents per hour, or a 2.9 percent gain. Among neighboring states, the next closest are Kentucky (+70 cents) and Iowa (+67 cents) while incomes have actually declined or remained stagnant in Illinois’ other neighbors. Hourly wages fell by 14 cents per hour in Wisconsin, and marginally improved by 4 cents per hour in Indiana and 9 cents per hour in Missouri.

Um, the Illinois Policy Institute used a different timeline, December 2013 through December 2014. But, guess what? Illinois’ wage growth was 2.8 percent for that time period - only slightly below the 2.9 percent figured cited by the liberal group.

It’s not that we shot way up, it’s that other states dropped a whole lot. North Dakota was on top of the heap during the December-December growth chart at 7.1 percent. Using January 2014 through May 2015 data, it’s at 1.3 percent.

An honest analysis would’ve pointed this out.

* More alleged fact checking

Claim: “Illinois ranked 29th nationally in job creation, behind most neighboring states.”

Verdict: Only Half True

The Illinois Policy Institute further asserts that “Illinois was tied for 29th nationally in job creation from December 2013 to December 2014.” The timeline from December 2013 to December 2014 may be suspect, given the unusually cold weathers that Illinois has recently experienced. On the other hand, an evaluation of seasonally-adjusted BLS employment data from December 2013 to December 2014 finds that the state added 66,800 workers during that time (Figure 3). This growth in jobs nearly matched similar employment gains in Michigan (+72,500 jobs), Ohio (+72,000 jobs), and Pennsylvania (+70,900 jobs) but was significantly ahead of Wisconsin (+47,100 jobs), Indiana (+45,000 jobs), Missouri (+25,800 jobs), and Iowa (+22,800 jobs).

This Illinois Policy Institute claim may be true when looking at employment gains in terms of the percentage growth rate– and yes, the economy would be better if Illinois’ growth rate were higher from December 2013 to December 2014– but why should Illinois residents care too much about percentage increases when actual jobs are being created in Illinois?

Why should people care? Because we’re twice as big as Indiana but didn’t create all that many more jobs than it did.

That’s a really weak bit of spin.

Back to the drawing board.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Be nice if someone would just do the analysis straight up. Oh wait, that’s why we have COGFA.


  2. - Allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 12:58 pm:

    Yea but what does .72 cents get you in Illinois vs .67, .70 in those other states? It’s all voodo math, but relative to the cost of living, which is very high in Illinois it does make a significant difference.


  3. - A guy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    lies, damn lies and statistics.


  4. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    A little bit of honesty goes a long way. Smoke and mirrors gets lost when someone cracks the mirror. Jeez.


  5. - ChrisB - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    As always, it’s the Delta that matters.


  6. - cover - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:06 pm:

    It’s really unfortunate that “fact check” stories have to be fact-checked…


  7. - Griff - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:10 pm:

    I trust nothing out of the IPI. It is just a high priced minion for ALEC and the Koch brothers. Keep fact checking!!!


  8. - Old and In The Way - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    - A guy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Lies, damnable lies, and IPI statistics…..


  9. - chi - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:18 pm:

    That IL EPI is really weak sauce. “why should Illinois residents care too much about percentage increases?” Are you kidding me? Don’t give away credibility that easily. It’s unnecessary. The facts are on your side. Very disappointing.


  10. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    They are both using too short of a time span for good data, best would be to at a minimum look at the last 10 years, it would probably be best to do a 5, 10 & 20 year analysis. With the short amount of time both are looking at, one can usually find a statistic that makes the case they want to make.

    I don’t really like the IPI, but they aren’t wrong about Illinois job growth and wage growth issues, we got some fixing to do.


  11. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    Cover I agree.


  12. - Harry - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    Makes me think IEPI’s rejoinder is so weak because maybe their case is weak.

    If not, someone should be fired.


  13. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    What the heck is the Illinois Economic Policy Institute? Never heard of it.


  14. - sal-says - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    Bob Secter in today’s Trib has an interesting article about ‘the Raunner IL Experiment’ and how it’s faired w/ Walker in WI after 4 years. Uh, as could be expected, not so well.


  15. - nixit71 - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    IEPI is to trade unions as CTBA is to public sector unions.


  16. - walker - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 2:02 pm:

    IEPI how’s it feel to be “wronger” than IPI?

    Both cherry pick data and time frames — but IL is not doing well in these area, for real.

    Interesting that some of the poorest performers, NJ, LA, and WI, all have Governors announced for President in same week.

    Expect completely false statements about these states to begin to flow.


  17. - A guy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    === Old and In The Way - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    - A guy - Monday, Jun 29, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Lies, damnable lies, and IPI statistics…..===

    thus, the twain shall kinda meet?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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