Illinois employers announce 1,044 layoffs in August

Illinois employers announce 1,044 layoffs in August

August records summer-high job losses, including 495 in manufacturing.

Illinois employers announced 1,044 mass layoffs in August, with 495 of the layoffs coming from the manufacturing sector. August’s losses indicate an overall increase in layoffs from July of over 9 percent, and an astronomical increase from the 50 manufacturing jobs lost in July.

These numbers come from the August edition of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, report. WARN serves as a monthly announcement of mass layoffs in Illinois and is not necessarily indicative of the state of the overall economy.

The latest report is a continuation of a disappointing summer that has seen consecutive increases in the number of mass layoffs. The trend started in June with 600 layoffs and shot up to 956 in July. The August report marks the worst WARN report in three months.

Peoria County was hit hardest, with 369 layoffs announced, most notably by the Mossville-based Caterpillar plant. But, other counties were not left unscathed by August’s poor numbers. Kane County lost 319 jobs and Winnebago County lost 171 jobs.

August was especially hard on the manufacturing sector, which accounted for nearly half of the total jobs lost. In addition to Caterpillar, the manufacturers who announced layoffs include Rockford Products, LLC, in Rockford, and IAC Belvidere, LLC, in Belvidere.

These manufacturers’ actions are not surprising considering Illinois has the highest property taxes in the nation, an expensive worker’s compensation system, outdated franchise tax and a growing pension crisis threatening to financially cripple the state. As Illinois’ politicians waffle on real solutions, businesses like Caterpillar are packing up and leaving the Prairie State.

Other Midwestern states, such as Michigan, are a different story. The Wolverine State has over 600,000 manufacturing jobs, with 170,000 being added in the recovery since the Great Recession. In 2015 Michigan gained 11,300 manufacturing jobs and in 2016 gained 10,600 manufacturing jobs. This is a stark contrast to Illinois’ lackluster recovery, which lost 6,200 manufacturing jobs in 2015 and 2,500 to date in 2016.

August’s losses are only the latest chapter in Illinois’ long term jobs and manufacturing crisis. Pro-growth reforms are imperative for the Land of Lincoln if there is any hope of gaining well-paying, blue-collar jobs. As other states around Illinois implement business-friendly laws that spur growth, Illinois residents are paying the price.

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