* Press release…
Americans are moving westward, flocking to the Mountain and Pacific West, while the Northeast and Midwest continue to lose residents. In 2017, more residents moved out of Illinois than any other state with 63 percent of moves being outbound. Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017 with nearly 68 percent of moves to and from the state being inbound. Those are the results of the United Van Lines’ 41st Annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns over the past year.
* Top inbound moving states…
5. South Dakota
7. South Carolina
8. North Carolina
New to the 2017 top inbound list are Colorado at No. 9 and Alabama at No. 10 with 56 and 55 percent inbound moves, respectively.
* Top outbound…
2. New Jersey
3. New York
Illinois (63 percent) moved up one spot on the outbound list to No. 1, ranking in the top five for the past nine years. New Jersey previously held the top spot for 5 consecutive years. New additions to the 2017 top outbound list include Massachusetts (56 percent) and Wisconsin (55 percent).
* Tribune editorial…
People follow jobs. But billions in debts scare present and prospective residents who know that eventually, they’ll be stuck with the bill — if they’re here.
This population plummet can be halted and reversed. A collapse into used-to-be-great status isn’t preordained. Illinois leaders should be signaling to Amazon and other employers (and employees) that they’re finally ready to address Illinois’ soaring taxes, runaway public pensions, overreaching regulations, high workers’ compensation costs — this state’s increasingly toxic climate for employers.
If Illinois leaders keep pretending all’s well enough on their watch, you’ll keep hearing that the Land of Lincoln is losing population. And you’ll see more forlorn parents watching their children leave.
The new year brings a chance for voters to factor this accelerating decline into their choices come Election Day. The people of Illinois should elect leaders who’ll recognize the crisis, restore the state’s squandered reputation for opportunity, and halt this exodus. The alternative: Return to office pols who’ll rule as they have for decades — while more For Sale signs sprout on lawns and more young people depart for college, many never to return.
* On the other hand…
New figures released by the Illinois Department of Employment Security indicate the total number of private-sector, unemployment-insurance-covered jobs in the city grew 168,000, or 16.6 percent, in the seven years ended in March. The expansion was concentrated in the Loop and the Near North, West and South Side areas adjoining it, where the total number of jobs leapt nearly a quarter. But the action also is showing signs of spreading into outlying neighborhoods.
In comparison, private-sector employment rose 13.5 percent in the six-county Chicago metropolitan area as a whole in that period—and just 11.2 percent if you don’t count Chicago. That’s just two-thirds of the city-only expansion rate.
Municipal officials and independent experts are hailing the city turnaround, which after seven years of steady growth appears unprecedented in the post-World War II period, and which continued unabated in the past year.
One other notable tidbit: In 2017, for the first time ever, a majority of jobs in Chicago as a whole were located in the central area of the city.