Working-age Illinois Residents Are Fleeing the State Amid Debt Crisis

Illinois experienced 28 percent slower income growth than the rest of the United States from 2015 to 2016

An Illinois Policy Institute analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data found that Illinois’s working-age population declined by 41,000 from July 2016 to July 2017, even though the United States’ prime working-age population grew by almost 450,000 over the same time period. The state also saw slower population growth in every working-age population category, which includes people between the ages of 25-54.

“Illinois is losing its workforce to other states because of its bad economic policies. A shrinking workforce has serious implications for the long-term health of our state’s economy,” said Orphe Divounguy, chief economist at the Illinois Policy Institute. “The state should be focused on making it an appealing decision for working-age people and young families to plant roots in Illinois through policies that will reduce the cost of doing business and improve living standards.”

The state has been entrenched in a crisis during a period of economic stability in the rest of the nation. Illinois experienced 28 percent slower income growth than the rest of the United States from 2015 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Hiring has also proved more rare; the unemployed face more hurdles in finding work than their counterparts in other states. Illinois job seekers stayed unemployed 33 percent longer than unemployed workers in the rest of the nation.

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