Significant changes in the state’s economy over the past 15 years have substantially altered the type and quality of job opportunities available in Illinois. Working families have had to cope with these changes and the impact they have had on their incomes and benefits. For many workers, and especially for minorities, the result has been increased economic insecurity.
Illinois is at a crossroads. As the state’s traditional industries scale back in the face of global competition and new technologies, new industries arise that require different skill sets and, in many cases, pay lower wages. These economic changes will impact everything from the type and level of skills that workers will need to the state’s fiscal health and the demand for public education, transit, healthcare, and physical infrastructure. How Illinois responds will impact thousands of families, seniors and businesses, and the state’s long-term economic competitiveness.
In collaboration with a variety of partners, CTBA provides detailed analysis of Illinois workers and employment conditions by presenting sound data on these workforce issues. CTBA uses this information to educate state officials and legislatures so they can make the crucial policy decisions needed for the state to respond productively to these workforce changes.
Analysis & Reports
CTBA working in partnership with Northern Illinois University publishes annually the State of Working Illinois. The report is one of the most detailed state analyses ever conducted on the Illinois economy. The report tracks the effects of national and global economic trends on working families throughout the state and provides a wealth of information on jobs, income, and unemployment for each county in the state. The report also identifies industrial sectors and occupational growth by sector, employment, education and income changes in each region.
With over 1,000 tables and charts, The State of Working Illinois is the comprehensive reference on the Illinois workforce. Visit the StateOfWorkingIllinois.org website for every table and figure that appears in the printed book.
What Illinois’ Changing Economy Means For The Demand For Public Services and The State’s Fiscal Capacity to Fund Them
An analysis of the state's fiscal system finds that Illinois’ state deficit will increase to more than $6 Billion over the next five years, without adding or expanding any programs. This deficit increase is the result of a tax system that does not generate enough revenue to continue funding the current level of public services into the future, adjusting solely for inflation and population growth. This fiscal mismatch is called a “structural deficit”.
In addition to an unsustainable state revenue system, the study also found that increasing the number of high paying jobs in the state will not solve the problem. This limited impact of high paying jobs on the state’s ability to generate revenue is a direct result of the longstanding structural flaws in the state fiscal system that severely limit Illinois' ability to generate revenue that responds adequately to economic growth.