First Lady fumbles Illinois’ job situation
Illinois is last in the U.S. for putting people back to work.
At a Saturday rally in Moline, Illinois, First Lady Michelle Obama told attendees that “this state is leading the nation in job creation.”
Her claim is demonstrably false. No state comes close to Illinois’ record of failed recovery. In most states, and in the U.S. as a whole, there are more people working today than when the Great Recession began. That’s not the case in Illinois, where there are 286,000 fewer people working today than when the Great Recession began, putting Illinois dead last in the entire U.S. for putting people back to work. That leaves Illinois a full seven years from recovery.
The town that hosted the First Lady’s speech is feeling the negative effects of Illinois’ failed recovery particularly hard. The Moline area ranks in the bottom 30 percent nationally for post-recession recovery, coming in at 298th of 373 U.S. metro areas.
Employment in the Moline area is still in a downward trend a full five years after the recession ended.
Furthermore, Illinois has the worst employment rate for black men in the entire Midwest, and the third-worst in the country. This isn’t an accident; it is the result of poor policy decisions that drive workers to neighboring states, and to the pro-entrepreneur climate of states like Texas.
While only 47.9 percent of adult black men in Illinois have work, 61.8 percent of adult black men in Texas are on the job. Opportunity speaks louder than political speeches.