Welcome to Illinois! The Land of Lincoln… home to the City of the Big Shoulders… a great place to get a thick, round, casserole-like dish which the locals mysteriously refer to as “pizza.” One thing that you probably shouldn’t hope to get in Illinois, though, is a job. Because from August of last year until this May the entire state managed to generate … 500 of them.
A report by the Illinois Policy Institute finds that only 500 jobs were created in the state from August 2013 to May 2014, ranking it among the worst in the country over that period. Among Midwestern states, Illinois ranked last, well behind the next closest, South Dakota.
The time period corresponds with the academic year, with IPI noting that there was about one job created for every 300 high school seniors.
This year alone, Illinois is last in job creation and one of just four states with negative job creation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state has lost 26,300 jobs since January.
Things are tough all over, but what could explain this? It’s impossible to point to any single factor, but here are a few that might come to mind:
For one thing, Illinois is the 5th highest taxed state in the nation. And that’s only because they still have to compete with states like New York, California and Connecticut. (Tough competition.)
The state is also in the ten most restrictive states when it comes to gun rights. Crime may be a big problem in Illinois, but don’t try taking any steps to defend yourself.
Illinois is also home to the 4th most dangerous city in the country for women who wish to avoid being raped, assaulted or killed. (Shockingly, that city is Springfield, which somehow beat out Chicago for the honors.)
There are others should you wish to browse, but that provides a pretty good flavor of the situation. What explains all of these dubious top rankings? Could it be the long history of extensively liberal policies, repression of business and nanny state intrusion?
Naw… that couldn’t be it.
EDIT: (Jazz) An earlier version of this story reported that 900 jobs had been created. The actual number is 500. This has been corrected.