Illinois employers announce 956 layoffs in July

Illinois employers announce 956 layoffs in July

Illinois’ July WARN report marks a 59% increase in layoffs from June’s numbers, as well as an uptick in manufacturing job losses.

Employers in Illinois announced 956 layoffs in July, including 50 layoffs in manufacturing. This marks a 59 percent hike in mass layoffs since June, as well as an increase in factory job losses over the 44 manufacturing positions the state lost in June 2016.

These figures come from the July 2016 notification mandated by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN, report. While WARN reports are not entirely indicative of the overall economy, they provide a useful snapshot for studying month-to-month mass layoffs in Illinois.

Cook County bore the brunt of the job losses with 571 layoffs. However, Cook County was not the only part of the Prairie State to suffer. Bergstrom Inc. announced it is moving 50 manufacturing jobs from its Joliet plant out of state. This is not surprising considering Illinois has some of the priciest business expenses in the region stemming from high workers’ compensation costs and property taxes, as well as other burdens such as corporate franchise taxes that weigh on employers and discourage entrepreneurs. Illinois’ continuing losses in production sectors such as manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities especially hurt blue-collar workers, who are finding it increasingly difficult to find stable work in the state.

Mass layoffs in the Land of Lincoln declined for the first four months of 2016, then skyrocketed to a high of 1,300 in May. This number decreased to 600 in June, but July marks a troubling uptick in mass layoffs for the state.

The lack of robust jobs growth is driving more and more prime working-age Illinoisans to leave the state, taking their families, talent and taxable income with them. Between 2005 and 2015, Illinois lost a net 290,000 prime working-age adults due to out-migration, according to federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The disturbing summer layoff trend shown by the WARN report demonstrates the need for pro-growth reform in Illinois. To keep more jobs – and working-age Illinoisans – in state, lawmakers should reduce burdensome regulations and costly taxes on Illinois businesses.

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