By Michael Lucci -
Illinois recorded the second-worst growth in gross domestic product of any state in the Midwest, according to this week’s release from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Illinois economy grew by just 0.9 percent in 2013. Only Missouri grew slower, at a sluggish 0.8 percent.
The state’s growth ranks near the bottom nationally as well. Illinois is 42nd out of the 50 states in 2013.
Unfortunately, Illinois’ anemic growth isn’t confined to 2013. The state’s five-year growth, which covers the tenure of Gov. Pat Quinn, is also the second worst in the Midwest.
Bad growth isn’t just a number. New and better-paying jobs go hand in hand with a state’s GDP. Illinois has the region’s highest jobless rate, and is dead last in the Midwest for employment and job creation since 2009. Unemployed Illinoisans need real solutions from state leaders.
Pro-growth strategies are the only true path to prosperity for Illinoisans. These strategies include:
- Modernizing the tax code by eliminating income taxes and transitioning to consumption taxes
- Slashing start-up fees and waiting times to foster entrepreneurship
- Providing fairness for employers and employees by reforming unemployment insurance, tort liabilities and workers’ compensation
- Repealing the death tax to preserve family farms and businesses, and slow out-migration
Michael Lucci is the director of Illinois Policy Institute's Jobs and Growth project.