economy

Illinois Issues - Economy
2:42 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Small-Business Owners Have Varied Ideas On Senate's Minimum Wage Plan

Small-business owners are giving mixed reviews regarding the latest Senate proposal designed to slowly raise the minimum wage and cushion payroll costs. The legislation, which passed the Senate earlier this month and now pending in the House, would immediately bring the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 an hour and then increase it by 50 cents per year until it reached $11  in 2019. The climb in wages would happen more gradually than called for under previous bills from sponsor Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat. 

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Illinois Issues - Code Switch
12:00 am
Sun February 1, 2015

Declining Fortunes - Middle Class Faced Threats Prior to Great Recession

Gloria Davis, a meatpacker from Chicago, tell a state Senate committee that she is homeless because of working a minimum-wage job.
Credit Senate Democratic Caucus

America’s middle class faced threats to its financial well-being even prior to the Great Recession.

When Jorge Chapa was a student at the University of Chicago, he had a lab job collecting brain samples from a meatpacking plant. That’s how, in 1974, he became familiar with the industry and its bloody and backbreaking disassembly line. He revisited meatpacking 30 years later, as a sociologist. This time he analyzed it for a study showing how the once high-paying job had slid from providing a middle-class living into one paying minimum wage.

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Election 2014
3:55 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Callis Says Plenty Of People Worried About Jobs, Economy

Ann Callis
Credit WUIS

Ann Callis says she has talked to people throughout the 13th congressional district during her campaign and one theme comes through loud and clear.

"It all comes down to jobs. People want good, livable wage jobs," she said.  The Democratic candidate stopped in Springfield Wednesday to attend party events in connection with the Illinois State Fair.  

"(People) worry about their future.  I hear from college students. They worry about student loans.  From people that have graduated, they worry about student loan debt."

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Housing
1:56 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Lawmakers Consider Tax Credit For Distressed, Vacant Communities

Credit Wikimedia Commons

  Lawmakers are exploring a way to stabilize Illinois communities hit hard by the Great Recession. Advocates say a statewide property tax credit would boost development in blighted areas.

When houses are left vacant, it drives down property values for the entire block. In Cook County alone, there are an estimated 55,000 such vacancies.

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WUIS Engage Breakfast
12:48 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

The Impact of Education on the Local Economy

Chris Farrell, Marketplace
Credit APM

Join WUIS in an important community conversation at the first 

A WUIS ENGAGE BREAKFAST
May 2, 2014, 8-9:30 a.m.
Hoogland Center for the Arts - Theatre III
AUDIO SPECIAL COMING SOON!

Special guest, Chris Farrell, is coming to Springfield to share his thoughts and take your questions about education and our local economy.   

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

End and Means: Reports Say Tax Cuts Won't Spur Economic Development

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

  Guess what? 

State tax cuts don’t improve economic growth.

No, that’s not an April Fool’s Day zinger.

Rather, it’s the conclusion of a report issued last month by the Fiscal Policy Center at Voices for Illinois Children, a nonpartisan advocacy organization for the state’s youngsters (Poor Finances, Uncertainty about Looming Revenue Collapse Threaten State Economy).

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Economy
5:52 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Departing Chamber President: Politicians Not Doing Enough To Create Jobs

Doug Whitley, 63, will retire next year after a dozen years as president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. He submitted his resignation Thursday at the chamber's board meeting. " “It will be good for the Illinois Chamber to have a new leader with a fresh perspective when the next gubernatorial administration starts, whether Gov. Pat Quinn is re-elected or we have a new governor,” Whitley said in a statement.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

After twelve years as President of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Doug Whitley's retiring next year.

Whitley says he's leaving disappointed, as the latest data showed Illinois with the second highest unemployment in the nation, behind Nevada.

And he says political leaders haven't done enough about it, except for one - Chicago's mayor: "With the exception of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I don't hear any other political leaders in our state talking about jobs, trying to recruit jobs, trying to announce new jobs and showing a sincere concern with unemployment," Whitley says.

Economy
8:30 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Illinois Unemployment Second Highest In Nation

Credit IDES

With national unemployment at its lowest level since the start of the Great Recession, the numbers keep going the wrong way in several parts of Illinois.

Peoria, Danville, and Decatur all saw unemployment increase by more than a percentage point.

Still, Gov. Pat Quinn defends his administration's efforts at building the economy.  Thursday, he announced that a German manufacturer will move its U-S headquarters to Schaumburg, a Chicago suburb, a move Quinn says could create 40 jobs.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Editor's Note: The Economic Future is Bleaker for Post-Boom Generations

Dana Heupel
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

As I grow older, I reflect more on the past and worry more about the future, not just for myself but for my grandchildren, whose ages range from 2 months to 10 years. 

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon November 1, 2010

Federal Intervention: Is the Stimulus Program Invigorating Illinois' Economy?

(Click to Enlarge)
Credit State of Illinois

Although the federal stimulus package is increasingly unpopular among the American public, there’s little doubt that Illinois’ top Democrats support it. In mid-September, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and Gov. Pat Quinn came to Alton to tout the fact that Illinois became the first state in the nation to start work on high-speed rail improvements paid for by the stimulus bill.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon November 1, 2010

Ends and Means: What About the Deficit?

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Years ago, a group of legislative back-benchers dubbed themselves “The Mushroom Caucus.” The moniker was apt, they explained, because leadership “keeps us in the dark and feeds us horse [manure].”

If Illinois voters are feeling a strong sense of kinship with those old-time lawmakers just a few days after the November election, they certainly can’t be blamed.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu April 1, 2010

Ends and Means: Leaders Have Responded Abysmally to the State's Fiscal Crisis

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois faces its worst fiscal crisis in eight decades, a daunting challenge for the state’s purported leaders. So how have they responded?

In a word, abysmally. Indeed, the leadership deficit almost rivals the state’s dollar shortfall. Consider:

In his budget memo last month — at 21 minutes, too short and devoid of specifics to merit being called an address — Gov. Pat Quinn essentially punted.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Tue December 1, 2009

Ends and Means: Illinois Makes List of States in Fiscal Peril

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

  Illinois made the Top 10 last month.

Not Bruce Weber’s Fighting Illini, a disappointing 4-2 and unranked through the first six games of the young basketball season.

Rather, the Prairie State itself, tied for ninth with Wisconsin in a national ranking of states on shaky financial footing. The top spot went to California, so Illinois’ elevated status is nothing to brag about.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Ends and Means: Lawmakers Boot the Tough Choices Into Next Year

Charles N. Wheeler III
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

“Wait ’til next year,’’ for more than a century the lament of long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs, aptly describes the approach Illinois leaders are taking to the state’s budget woes heading into the fall legislative session this month.

Consider the setting:

• The bills keep piling up, to the tune of $2.8 billion and counting at the end of the last budget year, according to the state comptroller’s office.

• Thousands of state workers face layoffs, adding to a jobless total already at its highest level in 26 years.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon June 1, 2009

Editor's Note: Employers Need Creative Solutions to Keep the Fountain of Youth Flowing

Dana Heupel
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The economic implosion over the last 20 months caught many of us by surprise. We had confidently ridden the stock market’s ascent to the heady all-time highs of the Dow Jones Industrial and Standard & Poor’s 500 indexes in October 2007, and then hung on dearly as those numbers plummeted to 13-year lows earlier this year. The roller-coaster ride left many of us dizzy and wondering what in the world had happened. Not to mention a whole lot less financially solvent.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Sun April 1, 2007

Grim Prognosis: Illinois' Fiscal Health is in a Sorry State

Grim Prognosis: Illinois' fiscal health is in a sorry state
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

"Run government like a business." We've all heard the familiar refrain, typically as a pledge from a political candidate or as a demand from a government critic.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon November 1, 2004

Hard Times: When the economy takes a dive, smaller towns take a bigger hit

The 6,300 citizens of Round Lake Park, a working class village near the Wisconsin border in far northern Lake County, have been affected by the recent economic slump just like everyone else in Illinois. They've watched jobs evaporate at nearby Baxter International and Motorola. They've seen fuel prices and health care costs go up. Some have put off needed repairs on their homes until finances look better.

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Illinois Issues
12:00 am
Mon November 1, 2004

Editor's Notebook: Economic incentives cost but few officials can afford to turn their backs on jobs

Peggy Boyer Long
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

The late state Sen. Aldo DeAngelis may have put the matter most succinctly. In the summer of 1989, he was listening none-too-patiently to criticism of the state's decision to grant Sears, Roebuck & Co. a $61 million financial incentive package, sweetened by tax breaks and development benefits, when the company threatened to move its Merchandise Group to North Carolina or Texas. Critics, we reported then, were suggesting to the Legislative Audit Commission that Sears might have snookered the state out of a good deal of public cash.

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