Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

More study needed to halt Illinois job slump, economist says

05.02.2010
Illinois is mired in a deep employment recession that could linger for years unless the state unravels the roots of its nearly decade-long job slump, a new study by a University of Illinois economist warns.

Though lawmakers tout sweeping job-creation initiatives such as a statewide road and building program, Geoffrey J.D. Hewings predicts little relief until Illinois gets to the bottom of a steep employment downturn that has seen the loss of more than 447,000 jobs since 2000.

“The analogy is walking into a physician’s office and the doctor has already written a prescription before you describe the problem and your symptoms,” he said. “How can lawmakers talk about policy answers when they haven’t diagnosed the problem?”

Economic data illustrate the need to invest in tracing the causes of the job drain, according to research by Hewings and doctoral student Rafael Angel Vera that will appear in The Illinois Report 2010, an annual policy analysis produced by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

For example, the mix of jobs in Illinois roughly mirrors the U.S., with similar percentages of workers in manufacturing, financial services and other sectors, Hewings said. But from 2000 though October 2009, the state gained only 35 jobs for every 100 added in the nation as a whole.

A new analysis of job markets in the state’s largest metropolitan areas raises more questions, said Hewings, the director of the IGPA’s Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, which forecasts economic development based on analytical models.

The study found that metropolitan area employment growth has generally sagged even though the job mix varies by region, dominated by manufacturing in Rockford, government in Champaign-Urbana and Springfield, professional and business services in Bloomington-Normal, and trade, transportation and utilities in Chicago, Decatur, Kankakee, Peoria and the Quad Cities.

“There’s nothing to show, for example, that economies with a higher reliance on manufacturing fared worse than their peers, or to explain why sectors like financial services that were considered a competitive edge for Illinois have seen anemic growth,” Hewings said. “So clearly, we need to dig deeper for explanations.”

He recommends surveying employers in targeted sectors to gauge their needs, why Illinois is falling short, and how the state could invest to improve its prospects.

“Is the problem with education, labor skills or the markets they serve or is it about corporate taxes or the dismal state of the Illinois economy?” said Hewings, an IGPA economist and the interim head of the U. of I. economics department.

“Without those answers, we can’t develop policies that will create jobs now and ensure they continue to grow 10 or 15 years from now,” he said. “The time for shotgun policies is over. We need to do some serious analysis before we can start enacting legislation.”

Hewings says the state’s employment slump extends well beyond the latest recession, which wiped out more than 358,000 jobs between December 2007 and October 2009. Illinois has yet to regain its non-farm employment peak of November 2000, even though the nation climbed back to its peak in February 2005 after the 2001 recession.

Through the end of 2009, Illinois was 447,200 jobs below the 2000 peak, the study found. Factoring in population growth, underemployment and workers who have dropped out of the labor force, Hewings estimates the state is now a net 600,000 jobs short of the 2000 high.

Unless Illinois uncovers the roots of its employment slump, restoring those jobs could take another decade or more, based on historical data, he said. Since 2000, growth has topped 50,000 jobs a year only once, which would mean 12 more years to recover the jobs if annual gains match that high-water mark.

“We’ve muddled our way out of past recessions, but this is going to require more than just a little tweak here and a little tweak there,” Hewings said. “We need to figure out the core of the problem so we can make strategic investments and develop creative plans that will grow jobs.”

Hewings’ study is among nearly a dozen in The Illinois Report 2010, which will be released by IGPA next week to give policymakers an academic analysis of key issues facing the state. Other reports examine state’s budget crisis, ethics reform and waste disposal and recycling alternatives.

Jan Dennis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>