Illinois companies announce 464 mass layoffs, mostly in Cook County

Illinois companies announce 464 mass layoffs, mostly in Cook County

Latest WARN report sees almost all mass layoff announcements come from Cook County.

Seven Illinois companies reported 464 layoffs in December 2016, with the bulk of those job losses concentrated in Cook County, according to the December 2016 report mandated by the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN. While WARN reports are not wholly indicative of the overall state of the economy, they are a good tool to study mass layoffs.

Of the 464 jobs lost, 424 were from businesses in Cook County and of those located in Cook County, 387 of the mass layoffs were from businesses in Chicago. There were no layoff announcements in manufacturing.

Trunk Club Goose Island Fulfillment Center, a men’s clothing store, announced the most December layoffs. The store is closing and will cost 154 employees their jobs, with the first round of layoffs starting in February 2017.

While 2016 was a tough year for Illinois manufacturing, this latest WARN report shows that even service-industry and white-collar jobs are not immune from bad policy decisions in Springfield and Chicago. While the greater Chicago area did see some tepid jobs growth in 2016, as compared to downstate Illinois, which had a net loss of 2,700 jobs, over-taxation in Chicago is making it harder on consumers, workers and businesses.

Chicagoans pay the highest combined sales tax in the nation and some of the highest property taxes in the country. Combined with a slew of other tax hikes enacted in 2016, including tax increases on water, soda, Airbnb, plastic bags and satellite TV, Chicago has become a lot more expensive to live and do business in. In fact, since Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken office, the average family in Chicago is paying an extra $1,700 a year in taxes. Higher taxes mean fewer dollars to otherwise spend on goods and services.

If politicians in Chicago and Springfield want to see real growth in all industries, they should look at implementing real reforms at the city and state level.

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