Illinois' economy: the good, the bad or the ugly?

Published 02/03 2014 06:17PM

Updated 02/03 2014 06:53PM

SPRINGFIELD -- If you follow the state news headlines, you might be a little confused. Last week, it was reported Illinois was forecast to be the 40th of 50 states for job growth. This weekend, another survey reported Illinois ranked third in growth of business establishments. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger sorts it all out.

Good economic news or bad? Obviously a mix of both. One survey says more business establishments are popping up around the state while the other says this year won't be a windfall for jobs. So, it got us wondering, what's the truth?

"Since last May, Illinois has led the Midwest in new jobs created."

If you caught Governor Quinn's speech last week, chances are you noticed the theme of jobs. It wasn't his talking point along.

The day after that speech, Moody's changed its jobs forecast predicting Illinois will be 40th in the country when it comes to job growth this year. It's a low rank when you consider a survey released over the weekend.

Career Builder and Economic Modeling Specialists found Illinois ranking third for growth in business establishments.

"You can see they're measuring very different things."

Patti Byrnes is an economics professor at UIS. She says both surveys seem to give a true read of the Illinois economy, but comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.

"Illinois, as a state, has always kind of lagged behind other states in coming out of a recession. And we can kind of see that with what's been going on the last four years."

That explains the lower jobs forecast from Moody's. But, she says things are also improving which explains the business growth numbers. Now the question is can the state change its ways to boost consumer confidence?

"The whole financial situation for the state of Illinois, then pension problem, the debt problem, they've done some stuff to impact that. Is it enough? Well, you know, we'll see."

Some good news, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank says, in the next six months, Illinois is projected to have the most growth of the five largest states in the country.

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