jobs

Episode 625: The Last Job

May 22, 2015

There are some very smart people out there arguing that machines and computers are stealing our jobs. And that when these jobs go away, they won't be replaced. They think that in the future, there will be fewer and fewer jobs.

In the short-term, that's a big problem, but in the long-term, it could be great news. If robots are doing all the work, people can just relax, right?

Quinn campaign

This story first appeared as Illinois Issues' State of the State column in the September 2014 edition of the magazine.

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."

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

The latest state job numbers are out and the news for Illinois is mixed. The unemployment rate is down. But fewer people were hired than expected, and Illinois still lags the nation.

Illinois' March unemployment rate is 8.4 percent. That's the best it's been in more than five years, but it's still among the worst rates in the country.

On top of that, officials blame the unseasonably cold weather for the fact that fewer jobs were added in March than in the previous month.

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.

Maytag's recent decision to close its plant in Galesburg and send a major portion of the work 1,600 Illinoisans had been performing to a new factory in Reynosa, Mexico, is the most recent example of the down side of globalization of the economy. 

After a decade of tax breaks and union concessions, Maytag shuttered its factory, which had been making refrigerators in that western Illinois town for more than 50 years. The company also decided to outsource other jobs to Daewoo, a Korean multinational subcontractor that is expected to build a plant in Mexico.