Illinois Economy Continues to be Impacted by National Trends
By Ellen Cannon
The latest economic data from the U.S. Bureau of Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDEA) reveal that the pace of economic recovery continues to be slow nationally and in Illinois. The rate of unemployment in Illinois at 10 percent is higher than the national average of 9.1 percent.. Although 1,600 new jobs were added by the end of September, consumer confidence, essential for recovery, remained low.
According to Jay Rowell, Director of the Illinois Department of Employment Security,”Consumer confidence drives the national economy and affects our economic growth here in Illinois, so these are not surprising figures. Job growth at this stage in the economic cycle is often accompanied by a slight increase in the unemployment rate. But a broader confidence must be restored at the national level before individual states will show greater wide-spread growth.”
Although Illinois has added 37,000 jobs in 2011 unemployed individuals increased in September,2011 by 10,500 totaling 663,000 unemployed in the state. According to IDEA, the leading growth sectors of the Illinois economy in 2011 are Professional and Business Services (40,000); Educational and Health Services (32,700); Manufacturing (17,500) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (16,800). (ides.illinois.gov, 10/21/2011)
Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) of Peoria is promoting a new Six Year Highway Bill, as a vehicle for increasing both employment and infrastructure development in Illinois. As a Republican conservative, Rep. Schock aims at working on this duel objective by using revenues from new oil and gas leasing combined with the current revenues people already pay at the pump in the form of the motor fuel tax.
According to Rep. Schock, “We need to focus on investing in our nation’s rails, highways, bridges, and infrastructure. We need to pass a fully funded paid for six year highway bill- this is something that has been done by every President for the last 25 years. Schock does not want to continue the present trend of “funding highway bills in short increments, which does nothing to create the certainty employers need as they consider a new project.” Also, Schock rejects passing bills without a way for paying for it. His bill, he contends, would move us away from this trend as well as help to boost employment and the demand for American made energy.” (schock.house.gov. 10,22.2011)
Congressman Schock recently stated, “A highway bill not only will put people back to work now, but will also help to reduce the burdens and lower the costs to businesses that manufacture goods and transport their merchandise to reach worldwide customers. If we can lower the cost of doing business here in the U.S. we can help attract more high paying manufacturing jobs in this country. With the passage of the Panama, Columbia, and South Korean free trade agreements, it’s now more important than ever, to ensure we are investing in our infrastructure to help move U.S. products to new markets.”
Peoria Mayor, Jim Ardis strongly supports Schock’s long term highway bill. He states that this bill is vital to job creation and the economy for Peoria and Illinois.