Chicago can't carry state on its big shoulders, data suggest
Call it trickle-up economics.
Regardless of how financially and politically inept Chicago seems to become, businesses and jobs throughout the state continue to claw their way north to find success, the Better Government Association said on its website recently.
“This is Chicago and other major metropolitan areas gaining at the expense of medium-sized cities,” Michael Pagano told the BGA. “If you are in a Peoria or a community that has a single industry, there are fewer opportunities [than] in a Chicago, with access to a very well-educated workforce and professional opportunities.”
Pagano is dean of the School of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
According to federal data, half of the new businesses between 2010 and 2014 started in just 20 counties throughout the country -- and the only Midwest county to land on that list was Cook, the BGA said.
According to the BGA, Chicago and its surrounding suburbs have accounted for 87 percent of job growth in Illinois since 2009, but Chicago’s success doesn’t translate to overall success for the state, where many counties are still working with lower revenues than they had before the Great Recession. While other Midwestern states appear to be doing better financially, they, too, are plagued by urbanized job growth.
“I think rather than having a conversation about how to cut taxes, the conversation ought to be more focused on making the transition from areas in which employee opportunities have disappeared rather than pretending you regrow these same jobs with the same pay,” Pagano said. “They’re not coming back.”
Organizations in this Story
1200 W Harrison St
Chicago, IL 60607
118 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60602
223 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60606