“I am always for the man who wishes to work,” Lincoln once said. Unfortunately for his state of Illinois, that opportunity is elusive.
A report by the Illinois Policy Institute finds that only 500 jobs were created in the state from August 2013 to May 2014, ranking it among the worst in the country over that period. Among Midwestern states, Illinois ranked last, well behind the next closest, South Dakota.
The time period corresponds with the academic year, with IPI noting that there was about one job created for every 300 high school seniors.
This year alone, Illinois is last in job creation and one of just four states with negative job creation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state has lost 26,300 jobs since January.
These lagging job numbers are sure to dog incumbent Democratic governor Pat Quinn, who is facing a very difficult reelection against Republican challenger Bruce Rauner; polls have showed Rauner with significant leads thus far.
The Quinn administration also suffered a major loss on Monday in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris v. Quinn, which ruled home-care workers were not public employees and could not be compelled to pay union dues.