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Illinois' Main Export Is People

January 10, 2014

Despite being home to more than 30 “Fortune 500” companies & an incredible workforce, it’s no wonder that Illinois’ main export is people.

According to United Van Lines, the nation’s largest moving company, “Illinois held steady at the number two spot after falling from the top spot in 2011.”  And the second largest movers, Atlas Van Lines, ranked Illinois 5th among the states with the highest outbound migration in 2013.  And a recent report by Moody’s Analytics places our prospects for 2014 job growth dead last.

As we approach the third anniversary of the temporary 67% increase in our personal income tax, our lawmakers must grapple with whether or not to keep their promise & allow the increase to sunset.  Rather than seeing their tax bills go down, some legislators would rather see another increase in the form of a switch to a graduated, or “progressive,” income tax.  Doing so would require an amendment to the Illinois Constitution.

The recent news of Illinois’ drop from the second-highest unemployment rate in the country to the fourth slot was certainly encouraging.  However, our 8.7% (November 2013) is still nearly two full percentage points above the national average.  Far too many Illinoisans are still out of work.  Lawmakers should pursue public policy that will give Illinois resident more opportunities to succeed, not higher tax bills.

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