Report shows Illinois struggling to keep jobs

(The Center Square) ā€“ High property taxes, the state tax on gasoline and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s handling of COVID-19 are all factors in the state’s lack of job growth, according to an analyst.

A report by Wirepoints looks at Illinois’ overall economic performance since Pritzker took office in 2019. The report shows 70,000 fewer jobs in that time frame and that its real GDP growth was 3.2% from 2019 to 2022, which ranked 10th worse in the country.

Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski told The Center Square that many factors have contributed to the lack of growth in jobs.

“We will never have the most jobs as long as we have the highest property taxes in the country. We will never have more jobs as long as we have the second-highest gas taxes in the country. We will never have more jobs if we have the biggest pension debt in the country, and we will never have more jobs if our home values continue shrinking relative to the rest of the country,” Dabrowski said. “We have so many things that are wrong in Illinois.”

In March 2020, Pritzker issued his first stay-at-home order in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. That resulted in many businesses having to close their doors. Overall, Illinois had some of the strictest executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dabrowski said the governor’s handling of the pandemic has hindered growth.

“Governor Pritzker had one of the most draconian, strict responses to the pandemic in the country,” Dabrowski said. “That really hurt jobs, and it really hurt entrepreneurs. He tried to pick and choose who should stay open and who couldn’t.”

Last month, Guggenheim Investments, a $300 billion company with its current headquarters in New York City and Chicago, was reported by Crain Business to be eying a move to Miami from Chicago. Guggenheim would join Boeing, Tyson, Caterpillar and Citadel, among others, in reducing their corporate footprint the city in the past few years.

Residents have also been leaving the state of Illinois. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, 91 of Illinois’ 102 counties lost population last year.

The most recent IRS migration data indicated more than 105,000 taxpayers left Illinois in the year ending July 2021, taking with them $10 billion in income.

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