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Illinois: The Race to the Bottom

Article by Matthew Denhart September 27, 2012 //   3 minute read

On September 18, 2012, the 4% Growth Project and the Illinois Policy Institute hosted a conference in Chicago, Illinois, on tax competition and economic growth. The Illinois Policy Institute produced a brilliant fact sheet for the event, showing that Illinois ranks 48th out of the 50 states in economic performance. The fact sheet is reproduced below.  Illinois’ state debt:

  • Illinois' total state debt is $271 billion
  • Illinois' state debt has ballooned to $51,000 per household
  • Illinois has roughly $8.5 billion in unpaid bills
  • Illinois will spend more on pensions than on education by 2016

Illinois’ economic performance:

  • 39 states have a lower unemployment rate than Illinois
  • It will take 43 months for Illinois’ unemployment rate to recover to its pre-recession low, given the current pace of job creation and assuming no growth in the labor force
  • Unemployment in Chicago is stalled at 10.5%
  • Illinois is 47th in job growth
  • Illinois is 48th in economic outlook
  • Illinois is 48th in economic performance
  • Illinois is 48th in net domestic migration
  • Illinois is 48th in average workers’ compensation costs
  • The rate of entrepreneurship in Illinois has been below the national average every year since 1996, with the exception of 2001
  • Chicago is tied with Detroit for the worst entrepreneurship rate among the 15 largest metropolitan areas in the country
  • Illinois has had 12 credit downgrades since 2008
  • Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation
  • Illinois hiked state income taxes by 67%
  • Rate of entrepreneurship below national average last 15 of 16 years
  • Worst credit rating in the nation
  • Illinois has had 12 credit downgrades since 2008
  • Illinois' unemployment rate is 9.1%
  • Illinois unemployment has increased for three straight months

Illinois’ pensions:

  • Illinois has the worst funded pension in the nation
  • Illinois' pension inaction costs the state $18 million per day
  • Illinois pension funds need 19 percent annual investment returns in order to pay for the promised benefits

Illinois’ health care:

  • Medicaid reimbursement rates are among the worst in the nation

It's no surprise Illinois loses 1 resident every 10 minutes.