From the Illinois Policy Institute comes this stunning statistic: while most of the rest of the nation saw its unemployment rate fall, Illinois saw its rate go up, with by far the nation’s worst performance. To make matters worse, not only did Illinois suffer a huge tax increase, but the budget deficit used to justify it is still there.
The tax increase is credited with driving employers to other states.
The unemployment increase follows the election of Democrat Governor Pat Quinn and a draconian 66% tax hike pushed by Quinn’s public employee union backers.
Almost a year after Illinois’ record income tax increase, the state’s unemployment woes contrast starkly with the slow but positive national economic recovery. Unemployment rates in 46 states dropped since January 2011, and some dramatically. Illinois’ unemployment rate, on the other hand, was 9.8 percent in December, up from 9 percent in January 2011. Simply put, in 2011 Illinois placed more people on the unemployment rolls than any other state in the country.
While surrounding states like Wisconsin, Indiana, and Missouri create pro-employment climates, Illinois is stuck in the same pattern of big government cronyism and tax increases to fund lavish state employee pensions.