NIU Center for Governmental Studies

The U.S. Census Bureau is urging Illinois residents to respond before the end of the month.

Sherrie Taylor is a senior research specialist at Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies. She said more than 96% of the people in the state have already sent in a response, but several groups remain elusive.

Northern Illinois University

The Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University is taking a look at what lies ahead as lockdown restrictions loosen.

CGS has been at NIU for more than 50 years. Its researchers have conducted studies on issues related to the economy, politics, community, and the workforce.  Dr. Norman Walzer is a senior research scholar at CGS with a background in economics. He said current studies aren’t looking as much at the immediate consequences of COVID-19.

NIU Center for Governmental Studies

In Illinois, birth rates are down and more people are leaving the state. These demographic trends are putting pressure on Illinois policy makers to revitalize local economies.

State officials are looking for help to address crowding at Starved Rock State Park.

More than two million people visit the popular park each year. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Starved Rock Lodge turned to Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies to study the problem.

The park nearly doubled in size thanks to a land purchase last year, but NIU researcher Mim Evans says managing the crowds is a complex issue.

Victoria Lunacek

Fiat Chrysler announced recently that it will cut third shift operations at its Belvidere production facility in May. The plant produces the Jeep Cherokee. The company cited global demand as part of the reason. On this week's Friday Forum, we learn how the decision could have a much larger ripple effect on the economy.

The shift change will affect 1,371 jobs.

NPR Illinois

Students across Illinois are heading back to school. And increasingly, they’re finding alternatives to bachelor’s degrees to reach their career goals.  NPR-Illinois hosted a forum in Rockford on Thursday about training today’s workforce. Northern Illinois University associate vice president Rena Cotsones and Workforce Connection director Lisa Bly had advice for students setting off on a career path.

A northern Illinois economic development group is working on what’s being called a “code of ethics” for its member communities.  They’re not alone. In this WNIJ Friday Forum, Guy Stephens looks at  codes that are being created and what they can mean to economic development.

Striking a balance between competing local interests to achieve a benefit of all long has been a mantra of regional economic development. No one involved seems to disagree. Still, it has been deemed necessary to “get it in writing.”

Center for Governmental Studies / Northern Illinois University

A new Census analysis shows Illinois leads the nation in population loss.

The U-S Census updates its population numbers every year by looking at government documents like tax returns as well as birth and death records. Illinois lost 22-thousand people over the past year. That’s like losing a city the size of Freeport in just one year.