Illinois recovered pandemic-era job losses in July – a year later than the rest of the country

Illinois recovered pandemic-era job losses in July – a year later than the rest of the country

The state finally surpassed January 2020 job levels after 37 states had already done so, including all of Illinois’ neighbors except Michigan.

Jobs data released today shows Illinois has finally reached its pre-pandemic job levels. Illinois added 11,200 jobs in July to reach that benchmark, but 37 states had already surpassed their January 2020 job levels, including every one of Illinois’ neighbors except Michigan.

The nation surpassed this milestone in May 2022, more than a year before Illinois’ jobs recovery. Since then, the nation has added 4.2 million jobs while Illinois is just breaking even.

While nearly all of Illinois’ job sectors added jobs in July, there were a few exceptions. Professional and business services suffered the largest losses, shedding 3,000 jobs for the month. Other services lost 900 jobs and manufacturing lost 500 jobs.

The education and health sector led the state’s job gains for the month by adding 6,400 jobs; Trade, transportation, and utilities added 4,500 jobs; Government added 1,900 jobs; Construction added 1,000 jobs; Financial activities added 900 jobs; Information added 500 jobs and the leisure and hospitality sector added 400 jobs.

The mining sector saw no change for July.

Illinois’ sluggish jobs recovery from the pandemic has been further complicated by population loss continuing to hit communities all over the state. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 85% of Illinois communities lost population in 2022. Data from the Internal Revenue Service showed Illinois lost more than 105,000 residents in 2021. Those residents took with them nearly $11 billion in wealth.

Illinois has struggled to recover from the pandemic compared to other states. It has continued suffering outmigration at record levels, losing residents and businesses to other states. Data shows Illinoisans of every age and income bracket are leaving the state, an ominous sign as questions about the state economy remain.

In Chicago, yet another major corporation recently announced it was moving its headquarters to North Carolina. Businesses are leaving Chicago and Illinois, in part because of crimetaxes and regulations. More businesses may leave if Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson succeeds in implementing major new taxes.

Despite more and more data confirming Illinois has a serious exodus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other Illinois politicians continue to deny there is a problem. Besides the IRS departure data, new surveys of Illinois voters show 51% would leave the state if given the opportunity. The main reason is high taxes.

When people are voting with their feet, state leaders have a duty to fix the reasons for those departures. Cut the tax burden, reduce arduous business regulations and maybe Illinois can again attract residents.

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