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Illinois faces near-worst wage growth since Great Recession

Illinois Watchdog.Org

Tuesday, December 5, 2017  |  Article  |  By Cole Lauterbach

Economy (34) Syverson, Dave--State Senate, 35
In the decade since the U.S. plunged into a recession, Illinoisans are making little more now than they did then.

In ten years since December 2007, Illinois and Nevada have seen the lowest wage growth in the nation, based on data through June of this year. Illinoisans’ wage growth was 0.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. But since June, Nevada has seen major growth, likely putting it just ahead of Illinois since the recession began.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, says the stagnant wages are a symptom of low business investment in the state. Businesses that are seeking to expand, he said, are often doing so in other states.

“These job creators want to expand, hire more and buy more equipment. That’s why they’re in business,” he said. “They don’t want to expand elsewhere, but they have no choice.”

He says Illinois households have seen their monthly bills rise steadily over the past decade – higher income taxes and healthcare costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, especially.

“Premiums have skyrocketed in cost,” he said. “That’s made worse by the fact that we raised state and local taxes.”

Syverson warned that, if the state doesn’t take steps to make Illinois more competitive for business, Illinoisans’ paychecks will continue to be stagnant.

According to the bureau, the Consumer Price Index, a measure of inflation, has risen by about 2 percent annually.