Illinois economy

Gov. Pritzker Unveils Five Stage Reopening Plan

May 5, 2020

Governor J.B. Pritzker has released a five-part plan to allow certain regions of the state to open up to more activity. The governor is calling it Restore Illinois.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could end up costing Illinois state government as much as $28 billion in revenue over the next few years. That’s just one of the key takeaways from the latest report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

The economy of Illinois ranks in the bottom third of the states in a recent survey, despite ranking in the top 10 in median annual household income.

The survey, conducted by the personal-finance website WalletHub, compares all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 28 economic indicators divided into three categories.

Accounting for all factors, Illinois came up in 35th place. The state of Washington was ranked first in the nation, while Louisiana hit the bottom of the list.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The University of Illinois Flash Index fell by 0.1 point to 104.3 from March. However, any number above 100 indicates a growing economy.

Economist Fred Giertz, who works at U of I's Institute of Government and Public Affairs, compiles the index. He says the slow economic growth and limited change to the index  is a result of mixed factors, such as the continuing budget crisis and a lower unemployment rate. He also noted first-quarter Gross Domestic Product numbers were lower than usual.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A railcar factory in Rochelle hit a major milestone Tuesday -- it completed its one-thousandth passenger rail car since opening in 2012. 

More than 200,000 help wanted ads for Illinois jobs were posted online last month.  85 percent were for full time work. According to a news release from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, help wanted region leaders included:

Chicago metro (150,800) 

Bloomington/Peoria region (9,300)

Decatur/Springfield region (7,000)

Rockford Stateline (6,500)

Champaign/Danville (5,500)